Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Family: LOPHIIDAE, Anglerfishes, Goosefishes

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

head wide, flat, spiny
eyes above
D:II-III isolated spines (1st=fish pole) then I-III spines in fin
large sharp teeth
gill opening behind pectoral





The lophiid anglerfishes, which reach up to 2 m, have a globular appearance with limb-like pectoral fins; a large, broad flattened head which is armed with bony spines; eyes on top of the head; mouth large, wide, top jaw protractile, lower jaw projecting, with large sharp teeth; 2 dorsal fins, 1st of 2-3 isolated slender spines on head (1st spine with a lure) and 1-3 spines connected by a membrane, above the pectoral fin; 2nd (soft) dorsal at rear of body; gill opening situated behind the base of the pectoral fins; skin smooth, no scales.

Anglerfishes  are "lie and wait" predators of small fishes and crustaceans. They inhabit soft sand or mud bottoms generally below depths frequented by divers, with maximum depths of most species between 400-1560 m.

The family occurs worldwide in tropical and temperate seas. There are four genera and 25 species. Only two species of Lophiodes are known from the tropical eastern Pacific, with one in shallow water and one deeper.