angler fish

Krøyer's deep sea angler fish

The Kroyer's deep sea angler fish, Ceratias holboelli, is a seadevil of the family Ceratiidae, found in all oceans, at depths of from 1,000 to 2,000 m. Its length is from 50 to 75 cm.

The Kroyer's deep sea angler fish is larger than most other deep-water anglerfish, however half of this length is taken up with a long filamentous rayed tail. These fish have round flabby bodies with a soft fibrous skeleton and prickly skin. Like most other deepwater anglerfishes this fish has a small eye, no pelvic fins and is coloured black. It has a moderately sized mouth and the fishing lure on top of the head is as long as the body and topped by a small luminous bulb. Between the lure and the dorsal fin is another thin filament about half the length of the lure.

Males are free swimming when young but before they mature these small fishes (about a tenth the size of the female) attach themselves permanently to the hind body of the female and become parasitic. Their blood supply becomes continuous with that of the female and most of the internal organs degenerate: they become simply appendages to supply sperm when required.


  • Tony Ayling & Geoffrey Cox, Collins Guide to the Sea Fishes of New Zealand, (William Collins Publishers Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand 1982) ISBN 0-00-216987-8

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