They are easily distinguished from other anglerfishes by their possession of a second light-bearing dorsal fin spine immediately behind the illicium (the bioluminescent lure present in other anglerfishes).
As in other anglerfishes, the male is very much smaller than the female, and after a larval and adolescent free-living stage, spends the rest of his life parasitically attached to a female.
The first specimen of the two-rod anglerfish (first called Ceratias bispinosus) was collected during the expedition of the HMS Challenger during 1873–1876. It was first described by Albert Günther in 1887 in volume 22 of "Report on the deep-sea fishes collected by H. M. S. Challenger during the years 1873–76. Report on the Scientific Results of the Voyage of ADD" 
The six species in two genera are:
- Genus Bufoceratias
- Genus Diceratias
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