The Soft Leftvent Angler is named for its asymmetrically placed vent. The species is highly sexually dimorphic. Mature males parasitise the much larger females.
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.
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.
Ozcam map of Soft Leftvent Angler specimens in the Australian Museums. http://ozcam.ala.org.au/occurrences/search?q=haplophryne%20mollis&zoom=off#mapView
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.