|Longnose seabat, Malthopsis lutea|
D. S. Jordan, 1895
The Ogcocephalidae are a family of bottom-dwelling, specially adapted fish. They are sometimes referred to as seabats, batfishes, or anglerfishes. They are found in deep, lightless waters of the Atlantic, Indian and western Pacific Oceans.
They are dorsoventrally compressed fishes similar in appearance to rays, with a large circular, triangular, or box-shaped (in Coelophrys) head and a small tail. The largest members of the family are about 50 cm (20 in) in standard length. The illicium (a modified dorsal fin ray on the front of the head supporting the esca, a bulbous lure) can be retracted into an illicial cavity above the mouth. The esca is not luminous as in most other groups of anglerfishes, but secretes a fluid thought to act as a chemical lure, attracting prey. Analysis of their stomach contents indicates that batfishes feed on fish, crustaceans, and polychaete worms.
They are bottom-dwelling fishes, mostly found on the continental slope at depths between 200 and 1,000 m (660 and 3,280 ft). However, some New World genera live in much shallower coastal waters and river estuaries.
- Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2009). "Ogcocephalidae" in FishBase. January 2009 version.
- Theodore W. Pietsch (2005). "Ogcocephalidae". Tree of Life web project. Retrieved 4 April 2006.
- Bertelsen, F. & Pietsch, T.W. (1998). Paxton, J.R. & Eschmeyer, W.N., ed. Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 139–140. ISBN 0-12-547665-5.
|This order Lophiiformes-related (anglerfish) article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|