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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Angler Lophius piscatorius

The angler has a head like a flattened soccer ball fringed by a camouflage of seaweed-shaped flaps of skin, and a wide, flattened body that tapers toward the tail. Its darkly marbled greenish-brown skin also helps the angler to blend into the sediment of the sea floor. It lies patiently on the seabed, ready to suck in any fish it can entice within range by flicks of the fleshy fishing lure on its dorsal fin. Large anglers have even been known to lunge up and catch diving birds. The species has well-developed pectoral fins, set on armlike bases, with sharp “elbows” that allow the angler to shuffle along over the seafloor. Anglerfish of the genus Lophius are also known as goosefishes or fishing frogs. This species is commercially exploited and sold as “monkfish.”

Anglerzoom image
  • Order Lophiiformes
  • Length Up to 6 ft (2 m)
  • Weight Up to 125 lb (57 kg)
  • Depth 65–3,300 ft (20–1,000 m)
  • Distribution Northeastern Atlantic south to West Africa, Mediterranean, and Black Sea
Angler habitat mapzoom image