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Lophius piscatorius.jpg
Angler, Lophius piscatorius
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Lophiiformes
Family: Lophiidae
Rafinesque, 1810

Goosefishes are anglerfishes in the family Lophiidae found in the Arctic, Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans, where they live on sandy and muddy bottoms of the continental shelf and continental slope, to depths of more than 1,000 m (3,300 ft).[1] Like most other anglerfishes, they have a very large head with a large mouth that bears long, sharp, recurved teeth. Also like other anglerfishes, the first spine of the spinous dorsal fin has been modified as an angling apparatus (illicium) that bears a bulb-like or fleshy lure (esca).

The angling apparatus is located at the tip of the snout just above the mouth and is used to attract prey. Lophiid anglerfishes also have two or three other dorsal fin spines located more posteriorly on the head, and a separate spinous dorsal fin with one to three spines located more posteriorly on the body just in front of the soft dorsal fin. In the more primitive anglerfish genera (Sladenia and Lophiodes), the gill opening extends partially in front of the elongated pectoral fin base. In the derived lophiid genera (Lophiomus and Lophius), and all other anglerfishes, the gill opening does not extend in front of the pectoral fin base. The largest individuals may exceed 1.5 m (4.9 ft) in length.[2]

Several of the large species in the genus Lophius, commonly known as monkfishes in northern Europe, are important commercially fished species.[3] The liver of monkfish, known as ankimo, is considered a delicacy in Japan.

American angler (Lophius americanus) at the New England Aquarium

Fossil species[edit]


  1. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2006). "Lophiidae" in FishBase. February 2006 version.
  2. ^ Bertelsen, E.; Pietsch, T.W. (1998). Paxton, J.R.; Eschmeyer, W.N. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 138. ISBN 0-12-547665-5.
  3. ^ John H. Caruso (2005). "Lophiidae". Tree of Life web project. Retrieved 4 April 2006.
  4. ^ "Pietsch, Theodore W; Giorgio Carnevale,. "A New Genus and Species of Anglerfish (Teleostei: Lophiiformes: Lophiidae) from the Eocene of Monte Bolca, Italy."". Copeia. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists via HighBeam Research (subscription required). March 14, 2011. Archived from the original on June 11, 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2012.