Animal Species:Soft Leftvent Angler, Haplophryne mollis (Brauer, 1902)
The Soft Leftvent Angler is named for its asymmetrically placed vent. The species is highly sexually dimorphic. Mature males parasitise the much larger females.
Female Soft Leftvent Angler, Haplophryne mollis
Photographer: Mark McGrouther © Norfanz founding parties
Standard Common Name
Soft Leftvent Angler
Soft Leafvent Angler
The Soft Leftvent Angler is a sexually dimorphic species. Females have rounded, unpigmented bodies. They have several spines on the head and a rounded esca on the snout.
Females grow to around 8 cm in length, but males only grow to about 2 cm.
Soft Leftvent Anglers occurs in deep tropical and subtropical marine waters of all oceans. In Australia specimens have been trawled from off central to southern New South Wales and east of Tasmania, but the species is almost certainly more widespread.
The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.
Distribution by collection data
Mating and reproduction
Mature males are usually seen permanently attached to females. When a free-living male encounters a female, it bites the female and the skin of his mouth eventually fuses with that of the female. The male then becomes parasitic on the female.
- Bertelsen, E., & Pietsch, T.W. 1983. The Ceratioid Anglerfishes of Australia. Records of the Australian Museum. 35: 77-99.
- Paxton, J.R., D.F. Hoese, G.R. Allen & J.E. Hanley. 1989. Zoological Catalogue of Australia Vol.7. Pisces Petromyzontidae to Carangidae. Canberra: Australian Biological Resources Survey. Pp. i-xii, 1-665.
- Yearsley, G.K., Last, P.R. & D.F. Hoese. 2006. Standared Names of Australian Fishes. CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research Paper 009. Pp. 65.
Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Tags fishes, ichthyology, Soft Leafvent Angler, Haplophryne mollis, Linophrynidae, Soft Leftvent Angler, sexually dimorphic, round, unpigmented body, < 10 cm, deepsea, tropical water, subtropical water, marine, males become parasitic,