Fish and other aquatic creatures

Monkfish (anglerfish)


European anglerfish, or European angler (Lat. Lophius piscatorius) - predatory fish of the udilchikoo order. The name "sea devil" this species received because of a very unattractive appearance.

A fish edible. The meat is white, dense, boneless. Especially popular "monkfish" in France.

Body length - up to 2 meters, usually 1-1.5 meters. Weight - up to 20 kilograms or more. The angler's body is bare, covered with numerous leathery outgrowths and bony tubercles. On both sides of the head, on the edge of the jaw and lips, fringes of skin, hanging in water like algae, hang in the water, making it barely noticeable on the ground.

The body is flattened, compressed in the dorso-ventral direction. The head is flat, wide, flattened from above, approximately two thirds of the length of the whole body. The mouth is large, in the shape of a semicircle with a protruding lower jaw and sharp hooked teeth. The eyes are small. Gill holes have the form of two small cracks, located immediately behind the pectoral fins. Soft skin without scales, numerous skin fringe on the edge of the body.

The anterior dorsal fin consists of six rays, the first three rays are separated. The very first ray of the dorsal fin is transformed into a "fishing pole" (illite) with a luminous "flashlight" (eskoy) at the end. The length of illite reaches 25% of body length. The second dorsal fin (10–13) and the anal (9–11 soft rays) fin are located opposite each other. The pectoral fins are greatly enlarged and widened at the end. They can perform rotational movements, which allows the fish to crawl along the bottom. The ventral fins are located on the throat.

Coloring, back brownish, greenish-brown or reddish, with dark spots. The ventral side is white, with the exception of the black posterior margin of the pectoral fins.

It is distributed in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Europe from Iceland and the Barents Sea to the Gulf of Guinea and the Black Sea, the North Sea, the English Channel, and the Baltic Sea. Lives at a depth of 18-550 m.

Typical inhabitants of the bottom are usually found on a sandy and muddy bottom, sometimes half caryns in it, as well as among the algae and between fragments of rocks.

The main diet is fish. Able to crawl and even "jump" with the help of his hand-like pectoral fins. Most often the monkfish lies motionless at the bottom. He is able to hold his breath for a few minutes. Merging with the bottom, the devil lures the prey to the bait-eskoy. When the prey swims to the hunter, the angler fish opens its mouth in a split second and sucks in the water along with the victim.

Spawning occurs in late winter and spring (at a depth of 180 m). Caviar is swept by females in the form of a gelatinous strip of up to 9 m long and 90 cm wide. Young fish go to the bottom life with a length of 5-6 cm.

Monkfish (fish) - description, structure, photo. What does a monkfish look like?

Sea devils are rather large predatory fish living on the bottom and reaching a length of 1.5-2 meters. The weight of the monkfish is 20 kilograms or more. The torso and huge head with small gill slits are quite flattened horizontally. Practically in all species of anglers, the mouth is very wide and opens almost along the entire circumference of the head. The lower jaw is less mobile than the upper one, and is slightly advanced. Predators are armed with rather large sharp teeth that are bent inward. Thin and flexible bones of the jaws allow fish to swallow prey, which is almost twice as large.

Author photo: Mike Beauregard, CC BY 2.0

Eskie anglerfish (monkfish). Author photo: Citron, CC BY-SA 3.0

The eyes of monkfish are small, set close to each other, located on the top of the head. The dorsal fin consists of two separated parts, one of which is soft and shifted to the tail, and the second is composed of six rays, three of which are located on the head itself, and three - immediately behind it. The anterior spiny ray of the dorsal fin is strongly shifted to the upper jaw and is a kind of "rod", on top of it there is a leathery formation (esque), in which luminous bacteria live, which are bait for potential prey.

Taken from the website:

Due to the fact that the pectoral fins of the monk line are reinforced by several bones of the skeleton, they are quite powerful and allow the fish not only to dig into the bottom soil, but also to move along it by crawling or with the help of unique jumps. The abdominal fins are less in demand in the process of moving anglerfish fish and are located on the throat.

It is noteworthy that the angler's body, painted in dark gray or dark brown colors (often with randomly located light spots), is covered not with scales, but with various spinous outgrowths, tubercles, long or figured leathery fringe similar to algae. This camouflage allows the predator to easily set up an ambush in the algae or on a sandy bottom.

Photo author: Ernest V. More, Public Domain

Where does angler fish (monkfish) live?

The area of ​​distribution of the genus angler is quite extensive. It includes the western waters of the Atlantic Ocean, washing the shores of Canada and the United States of America, the eastern Atlantic, whose waves break on the shores of Iceland and the British Isles, as well as the cooler depths of the North, Barents and Baltic seas. Some varieties of monkfish are found near the coast of Japan and Korea, in the waters of the Sea of ​​Okhotsk and the Yellow Sea, in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and in the Black Sea. Anglerfish live in the depths of the Indian Ocean, covering the southern tip of the African continent. Depending on the species, sea devils live at depths from 18 meters to 2 kilometers or more.

What feeds monkfish (angler)?

In the form of food sea devils are predators. The basis of their diet consists of fish that live in the bottom water column. Gerbils and cod, small rays and small sharks, eels, flounders, cephalopods (squids, cuttlefish) and various crustaceans fall into the angler's stomach. Sometimes these predators rise closer to the surface of the water, where they hunt for herring or mackerel. In particular, there were cases when anglers attacked even birds swaying peacefully on sea waves.

All sea devils hunt from ambush. Thanks to the natural camouflage, it is impossible to notice them when they are still lying on the bottom, buried in the ground or hiding in the algae. The potential victim is attracted by the luminous bait, which is located at the monkfish at the end of a kind of rod - the elongated ray of the anterior dorsal fin. At that moment, when crustaceans, invertebrates or fish swim by, touch an eski, the monkfish abruptly opens its mouth. As a result, a vacuum is formed, and the flow of water, along with the victim who does not have time to undertake, rushes into the predator’s mouth, because the time it takes does not exceed 6 milliseconds.

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While waiting for prey, the monkfish fish is able to remain absolutely motionless for a long time and hold its breath. The pause between breaths can last from one to two minutes.

It used to be thought that the “fishing line” of the monkfish with bait in all directions served to attract prey, and the anglers open their big mouth only when they touch the esque of curious fish. However, scientists were able to establish that the mouth of predators automatically opens, even if the bait is touched by any object passing by.

Angler fish are quite greedy and voracious. This often leads them to death. Having a large mouth and stomach, monkfish are able to capture large enough prey. Because of the sharp and long teeth, the hunter cannot let go of his victim, which does not fit in his stomach, and chokes with it. There are cases when in the stomach of a caught predator, fishermen found prey only 7-10 cm less than the monkfish itself.

Types of monkeys (anglers), names and photos.

In the genus of anglers (lat. Lophius) today includes 7 species:

  1. Lophius americanus (Valenciennes, 1837) - American anglerfish (American monkfish)
  2. Lophius budegassa (Spinola, 1807) - black-bellied anglerfish, or southern European anglerfish, or anglerfish, budegassa
  3. Lophius gastrophysus (Miranda Ribeiro, 1915) - West Atlantic anglerfish
  4. Lophius litulon (Jordan, 1902) - Far Eastern monkfish, yellow anglerfish, Japanese anglerfish.
  5. Lophius piscatorius (Linnaeus, 1758) - European monkfish
  6. Lophius vaillanti (Regan, 1903) - South African anglerfish
  7. Lophius vomerinus (Valenciennes, 1837) - Cape (Burmese) monkfish

Below is a description of several types of angler fish.

  • American monkfish (American angler fish) (lat. Lophius americanus) - it is a dimersal (ground) predatory fish, having a length from 0.9 m to 1.2 m with a body weight of up to 22.6 kg. Due to the huge round head and tapering to the tail of the body, the American angler resembles a tadpole. The lower jaw of a large wide mouth is strongly advanced. It is noteworthy that even with the mouth closed, this predator has lower teeth. Both the upper and lower jaws are literally dotted with sharp, thin teeth that are inclined deep into the mouth and reach a length of 2.5 cm. It is interesting that in the lower jaw the teeth of a monkfish are almost all large and arranged in three rows. In the upper jaw, large teeth grow only in the center, and in the lateral areas they are smaller, in addition, there are also small teeth at the top of the mouth. The gills, devoid of caps, are located immediately behind the pectoral fins. The eyes of a small monkfish are directed upwards. Like all angler fish, the first ray is elongated and has a leathery growth, glowing because of bacteria that have settled there. The leathery covers of the back and sides are painted in chocolate brown tones of various shades and covered with small light or dark spots, while the belly has a dirty white color. The lifespan of a marine trait of this species can reach 30 years. The area of ​​distribution of the American angler includes the northwestern part of the Atlantic Ocean with depths of up to 670 m, stretching from the Canadian provinces of Newfoundland and Quebec to the northeastern coast of the North American state of Florida. This predator feels great in waters with temperatures ranging from 0 ° C to + 21 ° C on sandy, gravel, clay or silty bottom sediments, including those that are covered with destroyed shells of dead mollusks.

  • European anglerfish (European monkfish) (lat. Lophius piscatorius) reaches a length of 2 meters, and the weight of individual individuals exceeds 20 kg. The whole body of these predators is flattened in the direction from the back to the belly. The size of the wide head can be 75% of the length of the entire fish. The European monkfish has a huge mouth, resembling a crescent, with a large number of thin, pointed, slightly curved teeth like a hook, and a lower jaw, which is significantly advanced. Slit-like gill openings are located behind the wide, reinforced bones of the skeleton of the pectoral fins, which allow European anglers to move along the bottom or dig into it. The soft, scaleless body of these bottom fishes is covered with a variety of bone spikes or leathery growths of various lengths and shapes. The same "decorations" in the form of a beard are bordered by the jaws and lips, as well as the lateral surface of the head of the European monkfish. The posterior dorsal fin is located opposite the anal. The anterior dorsal fin consists of 6 rays, the first of which is located on the angler's head and can reach a length of 40-50 cm. At its apex there is a leather “pouch” glowing in dark layers of the bottom water. The color of individuals varies somewhat depending on the habitats of these fish. The back and sides, covered with dark spots, can be painted in brown, reddish or greenish-brown tones, unlike the abdomen, which has a white color. The European monkfish dwells in the Atlantic Ocean, washing the shores of Europe, starting from the coast of Iceland and ending with the Gulf of Guinea. These "cute creatures" can be found not only in the cold waters of the North, Baltic and Barents Seas or in the English Channel, but also in the warmer Black Sea. European anglers live at depths of 18 to 550 m.

Author photo: Claudio Grazioli

  • Black-bellied anglerfish (South European anglerfish, anglerfish-budegassa) (Latin Lophius budegassa). In structure and form, this species of marine fish is very close to its European congener, but, unlike it, has more modest dimensions and a head that is not so wide relative to the body. The length of the monkfish ranges from 0.5 to 1 meter. The structure of the maxillary apparatus is no different from other species. This species of monkfish got its name due to the characteristic black peritoneum, while its back and sides are painted in various shades of reddish brown or pinkish gray. Depending on the habitat, the body of some individuals may be covered with dark or light spots. Leathery outgrowths of yellowish or light sand color bordering the jaws and the head of the black-bellied anglerfish are short in length and are located quite rarely. The life span of the black-bellied monkfish does not exceed 21 years. This species was widely spread in the eastern Atlantic Ocean all over the world - from Great Britain and Ireland to the shores of Senegal, where the monkfish dwells at depths of 300 to 650 m. kilometers

Photo by: Neto, G.

  • Far Eastern monkfish (yellow angler, Japanese angler fish) (lat. Lophius litulon) It is a typical inhabitant of the waters of the Sea of ​​Japan, the Sea of ​​Okhotsk, the Yellow and East China Seas, as well as a small part of the Pacific Ocean near the shores of Japan, where it occurs at depths ranging from 50 m to 2 km. Individuals of this species grow to 1.5 meters in length. Like all members of the Lophius genus, the Japanese monkfish has a horizontally oblate body, but, unlike its relatives, has a longer tail. Sharp teeth bent to the pharynx in the lower jaw pushed forward are arranged in two rows. The leathery body of the yellow anglerfish, covered with numerous outgrowths and bony tubercles, is colored monochromatic brown, over which bright specks with a darker outline are scattered scattered about. In contrast to the back and sides, the belly of the Far Eastern sea devils is light. The dorsal, anal and ventral fins have a dark color, but the tips are light.

Photo author: Suzuki, T.

  • Cape anglerfish, or Burmese monkfish (lat. Lophius vomerinus) it is distinguished by a huge oblate head and a rather short tail, occupying less than one third of the length of the whole body. The size of adults does not exceed 1 meter. Their life expectancy is no more than 11 years. Cape anglerfish lives at depths of 150 to 400 m in the southeastern Atlantic and western Indian Ocean, along the coasts of Namibia, Mozambique and the Republic of South Africa. The light brown body of the Burmese monkfish is strongly flattened from the back towards the abdomen and covered with the fringe of numerous leathery growths. The esca, located at the top of the long first ray of the dorsal fin, resembles a shred. Gill slits are located behind the pectoral fins and just below their level. Lower body (abdomen) is lighter, almost white.

Author photo: Frederick Hermanus Van der Bank, CC0

Reproduction anglerfish (monkfish).

For spawning, the females and the males of seafishes descend to depths from 0.4 km to 2 km. In the southern latitudes, the mating season of fish occurs at the end of winter or the beginning of spring. In the northern regions, this time shifts to the middle of spring — the beginning of summer, and in the Japanese monkfish the spawning begins at the end of summer. Having gone down in deep water, anglerfish females begin to spawn, and males cover it with milt. After the mating season, hungry adult females and males swim in shallow water, where they feed heavily until the fall, preparing for wintering at great depths.

Deferred eggs form a tape covered with mucus. Depending on the type of monkfish, its width varies from 50 to 90 cm, length varies from 8 to 12 m, and thickness - from 0.4 to 0.6 cm. These tapes freely drift across the expanses of water. Such original clutches usually consist of 1–3 million eggs, separated from each other and located in the mucous hexagonal cells in a single layer. The European monkfish has large roe, its diameter may be about 0.23-0.4 cm. The American angler's calf has smaller sizes (only 0.15-0.18 cm in diameter).

After some time, the walls of the cells begin to break down, and the eggs, due to the drops of fat contained in them, do not sink to the bottom, but float freely in water. A few days later the anglerfish larvae hatch. Unlike adults, they have a non-oblate body with large pectoral fins. A characteristic feature of their ventral and dorsal fins are highly elongated anterior rays. Larvae of monkfish larvae live in the surface layer of water for 15-17 weeks. Они питаются переносимыми водными потоками мелкими ракообразными, личинками других видов рыб, пелагической икрой и др.

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Подрастая, личинки претерпевают метаморфоз: постепенно их форма тела становится, как у взрослых особей. Having reached a length of 60-80 mm, the fry descend to a great depth. When young individuals grow up to a length of 13–20 cm, they inhabit medium depths, but sometimes they can be seen near the shore. In the first year of life, the growth rate of monkfish is very fast, and then it slows down.

Commercial value of monkfish.

Despite its name and peculiar appearance of monkfish - this is an edible bottom fish, which has a rather large commercial value. Environmentalists even try to ban its catch on the European coast, because here angler fish is caught not with fishing rods, but with the help of nets and trawls. The meat of the Lophius genus has excellent taste and is similar to lobster meat. There are almost no bones in it, it is white in color, with a dense consistency, but at the same time tender. French and Spanish gourmets consider it a delicacy.

The head of a predator is used to make delicious rich broths and seafood soups. Boiled monkfish is added to various salads, cut into pieces or cubes, it can be grilled, and stew with vegetables. Angler meat steamed or baked in parchment is ideal for dietary nutrition, because it contains minimal fat content, and carbohydrates are completely absent when there is a large amount of proteins, various minerals, amino acids, and also vitamins B, E, PP, A and D. In addition, the monkfish’s caloric content is only 68.2 kcal.

Monkfish: features of appearance, living conditions, food (56 photos + video)

Perhaps there are very few people who would not know about the existence of this mysterious and intimidating form of marine life called "monkfish". But many people think that this is a fabulous creature, just a notion.

In fact, it is not. In the photo fish "monkfish" in all its splendor. She really exists, but in great depth and in the darkness of the sea, probably because of her ugly appearance, therefore, she has such a name, the scientists tried as best they could.

However, under this name, there is already an inhabitant of the water spaces, it is a clam. About him it will be a different time. Today, our hero is a representative of ray-finned fish from the fishtail group.

Features of appearance

When you look at the monkfish, you immediately notice the presence of an outgrowth on the head with a luminous tip in front of an ugly mouth, the so-called "fishing rod" for their shaped similarity.

With the help of it angler fish lures the victim and catches it. Hence the common name of the anglerfish.

The fish of the monkfish reaches a length of up to 2 meters with a weight of approximately 20 kg. Angler's body shape slightly flat. As a matter of fact, he is far from handsome in appearance and looks, to put it mildly, eerie.

His body is littered with ugly skin growths that resemble snags and algae. His head is too large in relation to the body and unpleasant, like the mouth opening. Scaly-free, gloomy, spotty-brown color with a green or red tint, slightly lighter on the abdomen, closer to white.

A wide maw with sharp huge teeth directed inward and perioral folds that constantly move to disguise. The eyes are small, the visual ability is underdeveloped, as is the function of smell. Here is such a cute monkfish.

Native abode of anglerfish

The birthplace of the European and American angler species is the Atlantic Ocean. However, it was visible both at the European coasts, and at the Icelandic ones, and even in the Baltic, Black, North and Barents seas.

The Far Eastern species of anglerfish has caught on well along the Japanese and Korean coasts, in the Sea of ​​Okhotsk, the Yellow Sea, and the South China Seas.

Living conditions and nature of anglerfish in their native environment

Sea dwellers live in underwater depths from 50 to 200 m, closer to the very bottom, his native element, where he can lie in complete tranquility on a sandy or muddy bed, or among stones.

But do not think that he lies idle. Such is the way of his hunting for prey. Anglerfish lies motionless and waits. And at the moment when the prey swims nearby, it instantly pounces on it and absorbs it.

And it happens that with the help of fins, he jumps to start chasing the victim and successfully overtakes it. Anglerfish are predatory fish.

Fishing anglers

Basically, the diet of fishes of monkfish is made up of smaller fish: quatra, aterin, calcano, rays, etc. Lured by the anglerfish, the small fish go straight to his mouth.

Do not disdain monkfish and crustaceans mollusks. In the period of special zhora can replenish its menu with herring or mackerel and even waterfowl.

Features of procreation

Angler males are much smaller in size. To fertilize caviar, they need to find a girlfriend and not miss her, so they literally bite into her forever.

After some time they grow into each other, forming a single whole, as a result of which part of the male organs dies off. Healthy substances are transmitted by blood from the female.

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An angler-husband only needs to fertilize the spawn at a certain moment.

In the mature period, the female anglers will go down to a depth of almost 2000 m in order to postpone their eggs. The anglerfish can lay the clutch with approximately 3 million eggs, which is a wide tape of about 10 m with cells in the form of hexagons (honeycomb).

After some time, these so-called cells are destroyed. As a result, the eggs are free and are carried to where by the currents.

After a few sukokiz eggs, tiny larvae are born, and after 4 months they are fry. Fry 6 cm long independently sink to the bottom of shallow water.

Anglers and people

Hunting people is not a vital necessity of angler fish, it is not in his style. And here, a person can really get a wound, if the monkfish spike.

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However, to the most annoying visitors, he can show his sharp teeth in practice, famously grasping the curious.

In America and some European countries in the restaurant business they use angler meat as a delicacy that tastes like lobsters. In Asian countries, monkfish are used in culinary art. Because of this, for such a creepy-looking fish, there is a real hunt.

Inquisitive facts

Anglerfish, experiencing hunger, are able to catch prey of larger size than usual. And because of the structure of the teeth, they can not release it back, in the end they may even die.

The presence of "fishing rods" is inherent only angler-females. Each species has its own bait. Glow emit bacteria that are contained in the mucous membrane of the skin bulb, due to oxygen. The glow is regulated by the individual.

If the angler is full, the glow stops as the supply of oxygen stops as a result of overpressing of the vessels. If hungry, the glow resumes and he is ready for the hunt!

Monkfish: description, habitat and interesting facts

The monkfish is the most extravagant-looking representative of the fishermen of the class. It lives in impressive depths, thanks to its unique ability to withstand tremendous pressure. We offer to get acquainted with this deep-sea inhabitant, possessing amazing taste qualities, and learn about it some interesting facts.


Let us get acquainted with the description of the monkfish - the sea fish, which prefers deep crevices, where the sunlight never gets. The European angler is a big fish, body length reaches one and a half meters, about 70% falls on the head, the average weight is about 20 kg. Distinctive features of fish are as follows:

  • A huge mouth with a large number of small but sharp teeth gives it a repulsive appearance. The canines are located in the jaw in a special way: at an angle, which makes the capture of prey even more effective.
  • Naked and scaleless skin of the head with fringe, tubercles and spines also does not adorn the deep-sea inhabitants.
  • On the head is the so-called fishing rod - the continuation of the dorsal fin, at the end of which leathery bait is located. This feature of the monkfish determines its second name - anglerfish, despite the fact that the fishing pole is present exclusively in females.
  • The bait consists of mucus and is a leathery bag that emits light from the luminous bacteria that reside in the mucus. Interestingly, each type of anglerfish emits light of a certain color.
  • The upper jaw is more mobile than the lower jaw, and due to the flexibility of the bones, fish have the ability to swallow prey of impressive size.
  • Small closely set round eyes are located on the top of the head.
  • The color of the fish is inconspicuous: from dark gray to dark brown, which helps the angler to successfully mask at the bottom and deftly catch prey.

It is interesting how the fish hunt: it hides, exposing its bait. As soon as some unwary fish becomes interested, the devil will open the mouth and swallow it.

Find out where the angler fish (monkfish). The habitat depends on the species.

For example, European anglers prefer to live at a depth of 200 meters, but their deep-sea counterparts, which are found more than a hundred species, have chosen for themselves depressions and crevices, where there is a lot of pressure and there is no sunlight at all. They can be found at a depth of 1.5 to 5 km in the seas of the Atlantic Ocean.

There are anglerfish in the so-called South (Antarctic) Ocean, which unites the waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans, washing the shores of the white continent - Antarctica. Monkfish also lives in the Baltic and Barents, Okhotsk and Yellow Seas, off the coast of Korea and Japan, some species are found in the Black Sea.


Sea Devils - fish from the order of the fishermen. Currently, eight species are known, one of which is extinct. Representatives of each of them have a characteristic frightening appearance.

  • American anglerfish. Belongs to the bottom varieties, the body length is impressive - adult females are often more than a meter. Appearance resemble tadpoles because of the huge head. The average life expectancy is up to 30 years.
  • Southern European anglerfish or black-bellied. The length of the body is about one meter, the name of the species is related to the color of the peritoneum, the back and sides of the fish are pinkish-gray. The average life expectancy is about 20 years.
  • The West Atlantic anglerfish is a bottom fish, reaching a length of 60 cm. Object of fishing.
  • Cape (Burmese). The most visible part of his body is a giant flat head, also characterized by a short tail.
  • Japanese (yellow, far east). They have an unusual body color - brown-yellow, live in the Sea of ​​Japan, East China.
  • South African. It inhabits the southern coast of Africa.
  • European. A very large anglerfish, whose body length reaches 2 meters, is distinguished by a huge mouth in the shape of a crescent, its small sharp teeth resemble hooks. Fishing rod length - up to 50 cm.

Thus, all types of angler fish have common characteristics - a huge mouth with a large number of shallow, but sharp teeth, a bait with a bait - the most unusual way of hunting among the inhabitants of underwater depths, bare skin. In general, the view of the fish is really frightening, so the loud name is quite justified.


Scientists believe that the first angler fish appeared on the planet more than 120 million years ago. Body shape and lifestyle are largely determined by where the devil prefers to live.

If the fish is bottom, then it is almost flat, but if the angler settles closer to the surface, it has a body compressed from the sides.

But regardless of the habitat of the monkfish (anglerfish) refers to predators.

The devil is a unique fish, it moves along the bottom not like the rest of its brethren, but with jumps carried out thanks to a strong pectoral fin. From this, another name for a marine inhabitant is a frog fish.

Fish prefer not to expend energy, therefore, even while swimming, they spend no more than 2% of their energy reserves. They are distinguished by enviable patience, they are able not to move for a long time, waiting for prey, almost never breathing - the pause between sighs is about 100 seconds.

Earlier it was considered how the devil preys on prey, attracting it with a luminous bait. Interestingly, the fish do not perceive the size of their prey, often large specimens larger than the angler fish are caught in its mouth, so he cannot eat them. And because of the specifics of the device, the jaw cannot even let go.

Anglerfish is famous for its incredible gluttony and courage, so it can even attack scuba divers. Of course, deaths from such an attack are unlikely, but the sharp teeth of the anglerfish can disfigure the body of an unwary person.

Favorite food

As previously mentioned, anglers are predators, preferring to use other deep-sea inhabitants as feed. Among the favorite dainty treats of monkfish are:

  • Cod.
  • Flounder.
  • Ramps are small in size.
  • Acne.
  • Cuttlefish
  • Squids.
  • Crustaceans.

Sometimes mackerel or herring are victims of predators, this happens if the hungry angler rises closer to the surface.

Anglerfish is amazing in almost everything. For example, the breeding process is very unusual both for marine life and for wildlife in general.

When partners find each other, the male sticks to the belly of his chosen one and firmly grows to it, the fish seem to become a single organism.

Gradually, the process goes even further - fish appear in the general skin, blood vessels, and certain organs of the male — the fins and eyes — atrophy as unnecessary. It is because of this feature that researchers have not been able to detect the male anglerfish for a long time and describe it.

In males, only the gills, heart, and genitals continue to function.

Interesting Facts

Having got acquainted with the description of the monkfish and the peculiarities of its lifestyle, we suggest finding out some interesting facts about this horrible fish:

  • The fishing rods of some deep-sea anglers are clearly divided into a rod, a fishing line and a bait, becoming almost an exact replica of fishing gear.
  • Some types of angler fish are considered genuine delicacies. For example, tender monk meat or goose liver are the dishes that real gourmets want to try. They love monkfish in France, where soups and main dishes are cooked from its tail.
  • A very hungry representative of angler fish can even catch a waterfowl, but the hunt will be his last — choking on down and feathers, the fish will die.
  • Males and females are very different in size. So, for a female about 60 cm long, the male will be no more than 6 cm. Therefore, the male individuals parasitize on their “friends”, becoming part of a single whole.

Such is the monkfish - an unusual creation of nature, the inhabitant of the depths and an amazing predator, using a trick that is not typical for other representatives of the fauna. Thanks to its delicious white meat, almost devoid of bones, angler fish is a commercial value fish.

Fish lantern or monkfish: description and characteristics of the European angler fish

A marine devil or anglerfish, as it is also called, is a predator, a marine bottom fish, which belongs to the class of bony fishes.

Seafish fish is a rather large predatory fish that lives on the bottom and can reach a length of about two meters.

Monkfish is a predatory sea fish that lives on the bottom of the sea. She has a rather large constitution and can reach a length of about two meters.

Thus, the weight of a fish lantern can reach about twenty kilograms. At the same time, the torso and huge head are quite strongly thickened in the horizontal direction. In this way, all angler species have a wide mouth, which is several times larger than their head.

In the features of the structure is worth noting several characteristic features:

  1. The fish of the monkfish has a sedentary lower jaw, which extends slightly forward.
  2. Predators are armed with rather large and sharp teeth, which are bent inwards.
  3. Thin and flexible jaw bones provide an opportunity for fish to swallow prey, which will exceed them almost several times.
  4. The eyes of the monkfish look small and set close to each other. They are located on the top of the head.
  5. The dorsal fin will consist of several parts fastened together.
  6. The ray of the dorsal fin is shifted to the upper jaw and represents rod with leathery formation, in which different bacteria live. They are the bait for potential prey.

European angler habitat

The European anglerfish is quite common in the oceans and at different shores. Lantern fish can be found in the Atlantic Ocean. It can live off the coast of Canada and the United States of America. Various species of monkfish are found near the shores of Japan and Korea.

At the same time you can find devils in the waters of the Sea of ​​Okhotsk and the Yellow Sea, as well as in the Eastern Pacific and the Black Sea.

Рыба морской черт может также обитать в глубине Индийского океана, который охватывает конец Африки. В зависимости от среды обитания, рыба может обитать на различной глубине. Это может быть восемнадцать метров и до двух километров.

Питание морского черта

Морской чёрт — это хищная рыба. Её рацион составляют другие рыбыthat inhabit the water column. Various small fish, such as a gerbil or cod, can get into her stomach. She can also eat small stingrays, sharks and eels. In addition, it can be various crustaceans, mollusks.

Quite often, predators rise closer to the surface of the water, where they can hunt for mackerel or herring. Wherein there were cases when fish attacked birds that perched on the waves of the sea.

Each monkfish hunts from ambush, having natural camouflage - it can be overlooked in the thickets and algae. Thus, it lies at the bottom of the ocean, buried in the ground and lurking in the algae.

A potential victim grabs the bait, which is located at the monkfish at the end of his rod. Thus, the European angler opens its mouth and swallows its prey. At exactly six milliseconds, the prey enters the predator's mouth.

Hunting fish monkfish, being a long time in ambush. He can lurk and hold his breath for a few minutes.

European angler species

To date, there are several varieties of European angler fish. Consider each one of them.

  1. American nautical hell. It is a predatory fish with a body length of up to one meter. The body weight of the fish can reach up to twenty two kilograms. At the same time, he has a rounded head, which tapers towards the tail. Externally, it may resemble a tadpole. The lower jaw is pulled forward - with the mouth of the predator closed, you can see the lower teeth. In this case, the upper and lower jaws are dotted with sharp and thin teeth. They can be tilted deep into the mouth and reach a length of two centimeters. Almost all of the mandibles of monkfish are large and arranged in three rows. At the same time, the upper jaw has large teeth that grow only toward the center, and the lateral areas are slightly smaller than the main size. The gills of this fish do not have lids and are located immediately behind the pectoral fins. The eyes of the fish are directed upwards. In addition, the first ray of the fish has a leathery growth, which glows because of the settled bacteria. In this case, the skin of the back and sides can be various shades, including a variety of spots. This species of fish lives up to thirty years. You can meet her in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. She can live at a depth of six hundred and seventy meters.
  2. European anglerfish - this the most common specieswhich reaches a length of up to two meters. Fish weight can exceed twenty kilograms. Angler's body is flattened from the back to the belly. Its size can be up to 75% of the total length of the fish. A distinctive feature of this fish is its a huge mouth that looks like a crescent moon. Thus, it has several hook-like teeth and a jaw, which, like the first version, is pushed forward. The gill openings of the European angler fish are located behind the wide pectoral fins, which allow them to move along the bottom and dig into it in anticipation of the victim. The body of the fish is devoid of scales and has a variety of bone spikes and growths of the skin of different lengths and shapes. The rear fins are located opposite the anal. All angler fish have six rays. The color of this fish varies depending on its habitat. As a rule, there are dark spots on the back and sides, which turn brown, red and green. The European devil lives exclusively in the Atlantic Ocean. Quite often, the anglerfish can be found at a depth of 18 to 550 meters in the Black Sea.
  3. Blackbelly Anglerfish pretty close to their european relatives. They are small and relatively wide head. The length of the fish can be from half a meter to one meter. The structure of the jaw apparatus will not differ from individuals of another species. At the same time, the monkfish has a characteristic abdominal part, and its back and sides will be painted pink and gray. Depending on its habitat, its body may have some dark and light spots. The lifespan of a fish can be more than twenty one years. Such an anglerfish is widespread in the eastern part of the Atlantic Ocean. In Great Britain, Ireland, it dwells at depths of up to 650 meters. At the same time it can be found at a depth of one kilometer in the waters of the Mediterranean and Black Seas.
  4. Far Eastern marine devil - This is a typical predatory fish that lives in the Sea of ​​Japan, the Sea of ​​Okhotsk, the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea. In some cases, it can be found in the Pacific Ocean. It can burrow at a depth of fifty meters to two kilometers. In this case, an individual can grow from one and a half meters in length. Like other representatives, it has a long tail and curved teeth on the lower jaw. It also has a yellow-colored body, which is covered with various growths and bumps that are colored monochromatic brown. Spots will be light in color with a characteristic dark outline. Unlike the back and sides, they are slightly lighter. The back has characteristic light ends.
  5. Burmese monkfish has a characteristic flat head and a short tail. This fish tail takes more than one third of the length of the whole body. At the same time, adults of lantern fish do not reach more than one meter in length. Their life span is about eleven years. Anglerfish lives at a depth of four hundred meters in the waters of the Atlantic. Quite often it can be found in the western Indian Ocean and the coast of Namibia. In addition, they can inhabit the waters of Mozambique, southern Africa. The body of the Burmese monkfish is slightly flattened toward the belly and covered with fringe and leathery growths. At the same time, there is a fin on the top of the beam of the fish lantern. Outwardly, it resembles a shred. Gill slits are located behind the pectoral fins slightly below their level. The bottom of the fish is completely white and light.

Each type of fish-lantern has its own characteristics of the structure, as well as its own area.

Devils of the Sea (anglerfish)

Angler fish, or sea devils (Lophius) - are very bright representatives of the genus of ray-finned fish belonging to the family of the anglerfish and the order of the anglerfish. Typical bottom dwellers are found, as a rule, on a silty or sandy bottom, sometimes semi-buried in it. Some individuals settle among the algae or between large rock fragments.

Character and way of life

According to many scientists, the very first sea anglers or sea devils appeared on our planet more than a hundred million years ago. Nevertheless, in spite of such a respectable age, the characteristic features of the behavior and way of life of the monkfish are currently not well studied.

! One of the ways of the angler fish is to make jumps with the help of fins and then swallow the caught prey.

Such a large predatory fish practically does not attack a person, which is caused by the considerable depth at which the angler fish settles. When ascending from the depth after spawning, too hungry fish is capable of harming scuba divers. During this period, monkfish may well bite a person by the hand.


The black-bellied anglerfish spread across the eastern Atlantic, from Senegal to the British Isles, as well as in the waters of the Mediterranean and Black Sea. Representatives of the species West Atlantic angler are found in the western Atlantic Ocean, where such a sea devil is a bottom fish living at a depth of 40-700 m.

The American marine devil is an oceanic demersal (bottom) fish that lives in the waters of the northwest Atlantic, at a depth of no more than 650-670 m. The species gained distribution along the North American Atlantic coast. In the north of its range, the American angler fish lives at a shallow depth, and in the southern part, representatives of this genus are sometimes found in coastal waters.

The European anglerfish is distributed in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, near the shores of Europe, from the Barents Sea and Iceland to the Gulf of Guinea, as well as the Black, North and Baltic seas.

The Far Eastern angler fish belongs to the inhabitants of the Sea of ​​Japan, settles near the coastline of Korea, in the waters of Peter the Great Bay, and also near the island of Honshu.

Part of the population is found in the waters of the Okhotsk and Yellow Seas, along the Pacific coast of Japan, in the waters of the East China and South China Seas.

Angler Feeder

Ambush predators spend a considerable part of their time waiting for their prey completely motionless, lurking on the bottom part and almost completely merging with it. The diet consists mainly of the most diverse fish species and cephalopod mollusks, including squid and cuttlefish. Occasionally monkfish eats all kinds of carrion.

By the nature of food, all sea devils are typical predators.. The basis of their diet is represented by fish living in the bottom water column.

In the gastric contents of anglers there are gerbils, small rays and cod, eels and small sharks, as well as flounder. Closer to the surface, adult aquatic predators are able to hunt for mackerel and herring.

It is well known cases when angler fish attacked not too large birds that peacefully sway on the waves.

! When opening the mouth, a so-called vacuum is formed, in which the flow of water from the prey quickly rushes into the mouth cavity of the sea predator.

Due to the pronounced natural camouflage, the devil still lying at the bottom is almost imperceptible. For the purpose of masking, the water predator buries itself in the ground or lurks in dense thickets of algae.

The potential victim is attracted by a special luminous bait located near the sea devils on the end part of the original rod, represented by the elongated ray of the dorsal anterior fin.

At the moment when crustaceans, invertebrates, or fish touching Eski are near, the lone sea creature opens its mouth very sharply.

Reproduction and offspring

Fully mature individuals of different species become at different ages. For example, the European angler males reach puberty at the age of six years (with a total body length of 50 cm).

Maturation of females occurs only at the age of fourteen years, when individuals reach almost one meter in length. European angler spawns at different times. All northern populations that live near the British Isles are characterized by spawning from March to May.

All southern populations inhabiting the waters near the Iberian Peninsula spawn from January to June.

In the period of active spawning, males and females of representatives of the genus of ray-finned fish belonging to the family of fishworms and the family of fishworms, descend to a depth of forty meters to two kilometers.

Going down to the deepest, the anglerfish female begins to spawn, and the males cover it with their milt.

Immediately after spawning, hungry matured females and adult males swim up to areas of shallow water, where they receive enhanced nutrition before the onset of the autumn period. Preparation of the monkfish for wintering is carried out at a sufficiently large depth.

Eggs laid by marine fish form a kind of ribbon, richly covered with mucous secretions.

Depending on the species characteristics of the representatives of the genus, the total width of such a tape varies between 50-90 cm, with a length of eight to twelve meters and a thickness of 4-6 mm. Such ribbons are able to drift freely across the sea.

A peculiar clutch, as a rule, consists of a couple of millions of eggs, which are separated from each other and have a single-layer arrangement inside specific mucous hexagonal cells.

Over time, the walls of the cells gradually break down, and thanks to the fat drops inside the eggs, they are prevented from settling to the bottom and free swimming in the water takes place. The difference between the born larvae and adult individuals is the absence of an oblate body and the pectoral fins of a large size.

A characteristic feature of the dorsal fin and ventral fins is represented by highly elongated anterior rays. For a couple of weeks, the anglerfish larvae hatch in the surface layers of water. The diet is represented by small crustaceans, which carry water flows, as well as larvae of other fish and pelagic caviar.

! In representatives of the species, the European sea devil has large caviar and its diameter can be 2-4 mm. The roe, which the American anglerfish throws, has a smaller size, and its diameter does not exceed 1.5-1.8 mm.

In the process of growth and development, monkfish larvae undergo a kind of metamorphosis, which consists in a gradual change in body shape to the appearance of adult individuals. After the anglerfish fry reach a length of 6.0-8.0 mm, they sink to a considerable depth.

Medium depths are sufficiently grown up by rather young juveniles, and in some cases the juveniles move closer to the coastline.

During the very first year of life, the rate of growth processes in sea devils is as fast as possible, and then the development of the marine inhabitant slows down noticeably.

Natural enemies

Angler fish are quite greedy and very voracious marine creatures, which often causes their premature death. Possessing a very large mouth and a large stomach, all members of the order of the angler fish and the genus of the Angler are able to seize the largest prey.

! Natural enemies of the sea angler are almost completely absent, due to the peculiarities of the structure, the ability to disguise and living at a considerable depth.

The sharp and long teeth of the sea hunter do not allow the predator to release its prey, even if it does not fit in the stomach. Fish can easily choke too large prey and die. It is also well known that a caught monkfish in its stomach showed prey just a few centimeters smaller than the size of the predator itself.

Population and species status

A popular commercial fish is the European angler fish, whose meat is white, dense and boneless. The annual world catch of the European angler fish varies between 25-34 thousand tons. The catch of the monkfish is carried out with the help of bottom trawls, gillnets and bottom tiers. The largest amount is mined in France and the UK.

! Despite the very repulsive and unattractive appearance of the angler fish, such a predatory aquatic inhabitant has very high nutritional and taste qualities.

Monkfish meat is pleasant, sweetish and delicate in taste, having a soft texture, but with low fat content. Nevertheless, it is necessary to take into account the fact that during the cleaning a significant part of such fish gets to the waste, and for food purposes only the back part of the body, represented by the tail of the monkfish, is used.

It will also be interesting:

West Atlantic anglerfish belongs to the category of commercial fish. World catch averages nine thousand tons. The main mining site is Brazil.

Eight years ago, Greenpeace, an American maritime devil, was assigned to a special red list of seafood, which is represented by commercial species of fish that are highly threatened with extinction due to overfishing.

Liver and meat of predatory bottom fish belong to the delicacies, which provoked an increased catch and the threat of extinction, therefore in England a ban was imposed on the sale of the anglerfish in a number of country supermarkets.

Sea hell fish

Seafish fish is another interesting representative of the underwater fauna of our planet.

They say that the devil is a fictional character ... Well, no! In the sea, in the dark depths, there lives a creature whose appearance is so terrible and ugly, that except for the monkfish, scientists didn’t think up to name it!

It is worth saying that there is one more monkfish in the aquatic fauna - the mollusk, but now we are talking about a representative of ray-finned fish. Scientists refer to this marine inhabitant as an udilchikoo-order unit, including the anglerfish family and the genus anglerfish.

Currently on earth there are two types of fish-sea features - European and American. Let's look at the photo of the monkfish and take a closer look at its appearance ...

How does the angler fish breed?

When the mating season begins for these fish, they descend to a depth of up to 2,000 meters to lay their eggs there. One female monkfish can make a clutch of about three million eggs. The entire cluster of eggs forms a wide ten-meter tape, which is divided into hexahedral cells.

After some time, these cell-like cells are destroyed. Freeing the eggs, which in turn are allowed to float freely, spread by undercurrents.

A few days later, from the eggs, small larvae are born, which, after 4 months, become anglerfish fry. After the fry grow up to 6 centimeters in length, they sink to the bottom in shallow water.

Is angler fish a danger to people?

This type of hunting is inherent in all species of anglerfish.

In fact, monkfish do not have the habit of attacking a person. Но если нечаянно наколоть ногу о шип удильщика, можно больно пораниться. Кроме того, морской черт не любит «навязчивых посетителей» и может показать всю остроту своих зубов тем, кто ну уж очень рьяно пытается с ним познакомиться!

In some European countries and in America, monkfish meat is in great demand, it is cooked in restaurants and served as a delicacy. They say. What angler tastes like lobster. And in Asian countries monkfish is a fish that is particularly revered in cooking. That is why such a ugly-looking fish is a real hunt!

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