Scientifically known as Linophryne arborifera, the anglerfish is named as such because of how it catches its food. The fish’s main features are an enormous head and a bizarre appearance that make it look like a character in horror movies. Its eyes are bulging; its mouth is crescent-shaped; its belly is white and flat. The body’s and head’s shapes are not distinctly outlined because there are many skin flaps all over the fish. The anglerfish’s gills are located around the pectoral fins.
Above the pectorals are the dorsal fins. There are separate rays running from the midline portion of the head up to the body’s anterior portion.
The deepsea anglerfish’s teeth, which are inclined inward in some species, and jaw are enormous, enabling it to swallow other fishes double its size. In most of its types, the mouth runs all the way to the back of the head. It obtains food using its dorsal fin, which has a luminous bait at the tip that attracts its prey.
The luminous bait is comprised of millions of bacteria that emits light. The dorsal spine is a distinct feature of the female anglerfish. This fish can grow to as much as 18 inches in length, with flexible and thin bones. Its colors tend to be black, dark brown or gray.
Unlike other fishes that live in the shallower parts of the ocean, the angler fish has lights at the top of its head, and as well as in the bottom. The light on top of the head is similar to a fishing rod, while the the illumination on the bottom are comprised of many huge lights. Obviously, these lights are essential to the anglerfish because of where they live.
The anglerfish has about 200 species, among which are:
The Common Blackdevil or the Humpback Angler lives in the deep somewhere in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. The female fish is about 18 cm, with huge, dagger-like teeth that it uses for catching and eating big prey. This fish has small eyes and its sense of smell is poor. The male, about one-third in size to the female, doesn’t have teeth. It attaches to the female using special hooks. Once the reproduction of the eggs is done, it swims away from the female.
The Sargussumfish is a type of frogfish that lives on rafts of seaweed. It uses its pectoral fins to stay around the rafts. The Sargussumfish is well camouflaged because of its variable color and mottled skin pattern.
This type of angler lives in the deep. It is different from other anglerfish because of its unpigmented skin, giving it a very pale color. Its teeth, unlike other deepsea anglers, are very small. The Regan’s Angler’s spines are below the mouth and above its eyes. In this type of species, the male ones become attached to the female body permanently.
The Polka-Dot batfish is considered to have the oddest shape among all of anglerfishes. The fish has limb-like pectoral fins and pelvic that it uses to walk in the seabed in search of food.
Unlike other anglerfish, the Polka-Dot’s lure is short. Of all the anglerfish species, the Polka-Dot is sluggish and prone to dangers despite its camouflage skin.
The Coffinfish, sometimes referred to as Seatoad, is native to Australia and can be found on muddy seabeds in the deep. It resembles a pink balloon with tiny spines covering its body. The Coffinfish is capable of inflating itself to appear bigger.
Deep in the ocean, where the sun’s rays can’t reach, the environment is very hostile. The water pressure is very strong and oxygen supply is scarce. Despite the inhospitable conditions, the anglerfish lives and thrives in the deep, about one mile or 5280 feet, almost at the bottom of the sea. There are some species though that live in shallower waters, mostly on the seabed.
Anglerfish can be found anywhere in the world.
The fish usually has three filaments growing from its head, which are part of the anterior dorsal fin. These filaments are detached from the fin and modified in such a manner that they resemble a rod. The rod-like structure is movable and can be wiggled to resemble a prey.
Being endowed with distended jaw, stomach, and large teeth, the anglerfish can eat crabs and lobsters. Other things it eats are shrimps, clams, worms, mussels, other fishes, and snails. On the food chain, nothing preys on the anglerfish, probably because of how big and powerful its jaws and teeth are. Even sharks wouldn’t dare eat this fish. Aside from the big preys, the anglerfish also feeds on sand eels, dogfish, haddock, and flat fish.
The male and female anglerfish are similar in size when their habitat is not on the depths of the ocean. However, this is not the case in the deep. The male anglerfish in this parts of the ocean is very small in size compared to its female counterpart. Throughout its lifetime, it attaches itself to a female anglerfish by biting its body. Through the male’s mouth, their bloodstreams become connected, making the male anglerfish a parasite for life. Once the male is connected to a female, the rest of its body degenerates, except for the testes. The male first loses its eyes, then its internal organs, until such time that it becomes nothing but a sperm source. A female anglerfish can have more than one male attached to its body.
Reproduction and Life Cycle
For the deepsea-dwelling anglers, their mating is different from their other counterparts. The males are born with very strong sense of smell used to track the scent of a female. It would seem that the primary purpose for this male fish is to become a reproductive tool since its organs, expect the testes, will degenerate upon adulthood. Upon reaching adulthood, its main goal would be to find a female it can latched itself into since its digestive tract would start to collapse, making it incapable of independent feeding. When it finds a female, the male’s entire system, except for its reproduction organ, would collapsed. The reproductive organ would respond to the release of an egg in the female body by releasing sperm, resulting to the fertilization of the egg.
The anglerfish breeds in spring until early summer, and its eggs are covered in large, gelatin-like masses that floats near the ocean surface. When the egg is hatched, the fish stays in the surface for a time and then migrates to the bed of the sea or the deep ocean.
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Cite this Linophryne Arborifera Fish
Linophryne Arborifera Fish. (2016, Jun 26). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/linophryne-arborifera-fish/