Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    Rhycherus
    Genus
    filamentosus
    Family
    Antennariidae
    Order
    Lophiiformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The Tasselled Anglerfish grows to 23 cm in length.

Introduction

The Tasselled Anglerfish is covered with fleshy tentacles which provides it with camouflage in its natural habitat. The species can be very hard to spot when it remains motionless among sponges and algae.

Identification

This species is brown to red above. There are dark blotches or bars on the sides separated by whitish areas extending up from below. It has a dorsal fin comprising four parts. The first is a long illicium with an esca that resembles two worms. The second and third dorsal spines are separate. These are followed by 12 to 13 soft rays.

The Tasselled Anglerfish is very similar to the Glover's Anglerfish. They can be separated by the shape of their escas and length of the illicium, which is longer in the Tasselled Anglerfish.

Distribution

It is endemic to Australia, living on kelp covered rocky reefs from Bass Strait to South Australia.

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

Rhycherus filamentosus

Ozcam map of Tasselled Anglerfish specimens in the Australian Museums. http://ozcam.ala.org.au/occurrences/search?q=rhycherus%20filamentosus&zoom=off#mapView

Breeding behaviours

Females lay about 5 000 eggs in a large mass. Each egg has a long double filament that sticks to growth on the surrounding rocks.

References

  1. Gomon, M.F., Bray, D. & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 2008. The Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Reed New Holland. Pp. 928.
  2. Pietsch, T.W. & D.B. Grobecker. 1987. Frogfishes of the World. Systematics, Zoogeography, and Behavioural Ecology. Stanford University Press. Pp. 420.