Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    jordani
    Genus
    Caulophryne
    Family
    Caulophrynidae
    Order
    Lophiiformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    Females reach a total length of 20 cm, but males only grow to 1.6 cm.

Introduction

The strange-looking Fanfin Angler lives in deep marine waters.  Mature males are usually found as parasites on females.

Identification

Fanfin Angler has a rounded body and fan-like dorsal and anal fins. A long illicium with branched filaments is present on the snout (the illicium is visible in the image as a white blur above the snout).

The species is black to dark brown all over with the exception of the tip of the illicium.

Larvae and free-swimming males have pelvic fins. These fins are lost in females and parasitic males.

Habitat

It is known from bathypelagic and mesopelagic depths.

The fish in the image was trawled using a non-closing trawl somewhere between the surface and 977 m. Specimens have been collected in non-closing trawls that have sampled to 3000 m. C.jordani has also been collected using closing trawls between 1235 m and 1510 m.

Distribution

The species occurs worldwide.  In Australia the Fanfin Angler is known from off the central New South Wales coast and in Australian territorial waters south of Norfolk Island.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Caulophryne jordani

Ozcam map of Fanfin Angler specimens in the Australian Museums. http://ozcam.ala.org.au/occurrences/search?q=caulophryne%20jordani&zoom=off#mapView

Other behaviours and adaptations

The species is sexually dimorphic, with females growing much larger than males. Males have well developed sense organs that are used to find a female. When a male finds a female, he bites her and doesn't let go. His skin fuses with the female and he becomes a parasite on her.

References

  • Nelson, J.S., 1994. Fishes of the World, third edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Pp: 600.
  • Norman, M. 2003. Beasts from the Deep. Australian Science. September:18-22. Pietsch, T. W. 1979. Ceratioid anglerfishes of the family Caulophrynidae with description of a new genus and species from the Banda Sea. Contributions in Science. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. No. 310: 1-25.
  • Pietsch, T. W. 1999. Caulophrynidae. in Carpenter, K.E. & V.H. Niem (Eds). FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. Volume 3. Batoid fishes, chimaeras and bony fishes part 1 (Elopidae to Linophrynidae). FAO, Rome. Pp. iii-vi, 1398-2068.
  • Stewart, A.L. & T.W. Pietsch. 1998. The ceratioid anglerfishes (Lophiiformes: Ceratioidei) of New Zealand. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand. 28 (1): 1-37.