Angler fish (Lophius piscatorius)
|Researched by||Al Reeve||Refereed by||Admin|
|Other common names||-||Synonyms||-|
Recorded distribution in Britain and IrelandLophius piscatorius occurs in coastal waters all around Britain and Ireland. It is predominantly recorded on the west coast of England, Wales and Scotland and the north, south and east coasts of Ireland.
HabitatLophius piscatorius is present in waters from the low intertidal down to depths of 550 m. It is uncommon to see an angler fish in water shallower than 18 m though it may migrate down to as deep as 2000 m in offshore waters in order to spawn. It is found mostly on sandy or muddy bottoms but is also present on shell, gravel and occasionally rocky areas.
- Large, rounded pectoral fins and approximately equally sized dorsal and anal fins.
- Broad head and wide mouth with large curved teeth in both jaws.
- Body dorso-ventrally flattened.
- Skin loose and scaleless with many fringed flaps mostly around the mid line of the fish.
- Variable colour but basically brown or greeny brown with reddish or dark brown mottlings and white underside.
- Fleshy 'lure' at the end of the first dorsal spine.
- Grows up to 200 cm in length.
Additional informationThe angler fish uses its lure to attract prey to within reach. Prey items are usually smaller fish (such as spurdogs, rays, sand eels, sculpins, sea snails, cod, whiting, pouting, haddock, flatfishes) but a range of items have been found in angler fish stomachs including; lobsters, crabs, squids and occasionally seabirds. Lophius piscatorius is otherwise known as monkfish and is an important commercial fish. It can be confused with the angelshark, Squatina squatina, a cartilaginous fish which, is also known as monkfish. Lophius piscatorius is included in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan for deep-water fish.
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Last Updated: 17/04/2008