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Halieutaea stellata by DaijuAzuma.jpg
Halieutaea stellata in Takeshima Aquarium, Japan
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Lophiiformes
Suborder: Ogcocephaloidei
Family: Ogcocephalidae
D. S. Jordan, 1895


Ogcocephalidae is a family of anglerfish specifically adapted for a benthic lifestyle of crawling about on the seafloor. Ogcocephalid anglerfish are sometimes referred to as batfishes,[1][2] deep-sea batfishes,[3] handfishes, and seabats.[4] They are found in tropical and subtropical oceans worldwide.[2] They are mostly found at depths between 200 and 3,000 m (660 and 9,840 ft), but have been recorded as deep as 4,000 m (13,000 ft).[2][5] A few species live in much shallower coastal waters and, exceptionally, may enter river estuaries.[2]

They are dorsoventrally compressed fishes similar in appearance to rays, with a large circular or triangular head, which in Coelophrys is box-shaped, and a small tail. The largest members of the family are approximately 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) may 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.[6] Analysis of their stomach contents indicates that batfishes feed on fish, crustaceans, and polychaete worms.[5]



  1. ^ Derouen, V., et al. (2015). Examining evolutionary relationships and shifts in depth preferences in batfishes (Lophiiformes: Ogcocephalidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 84, 27-33.
  2. ^ a b c d Family Ogcocephalidae - Batfishes. FishBase. 2016.
  3. ^ Bray, D. J. 2012. Ogcocephalidae: Deep-sea Batfishes. Fishes of Australia, accessed 07 May 2016.
  4. ^ Ogcocephalidae. Australian Museum.
  5. ^ a b Bertelsen, F. & Pietsch, T.W. (1998). Paxton, J.R. & Eschmeyer, W.N. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 139–140. ISBN 0-12-547665-5.
  6. ^ Theodore W. Pietsch (2005). "Ogcocephalidae". Tree of Life web project. Retrieved 4 April 2006.

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