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Northern wolffish, Anarhichas denticulatus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Scorpaeniformes
Family: Anarhichadidae
Bonaparte, 1832

See text for species

The wolffish (or wolfeel, although they are not true eels), also known as sea wolves, are a family, Anarhichadidae, of perciform fish. There are three types of wolffish: the spotted Wolffish, the Atlantic Wolffish, and the Northern Atlantic Wolffish. They are native to cold waters of the northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans, where they live on the continental shelf and slope, to depths of about 600 metres (2,000 feet; 330 fathoms). They are bottom-feeders, eating hard-shelled invertebrates such as clams, echinoderms, and crustaceans, which they crush with their strong canine and molar teeth. The longest species, Anarrhichthys ocellatus, grows to more than 2 m (6 ft 7 in) in length.

Peak mating season for wolffish is September to October. The male wolffish will guard the eggs 3-9 months until they hatch.


The five species in two genera are:

Timeline of genera[edit]



  1. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2013). "Anarhichadidae" in FishBase. February 2013 version.
  • "Anarhichadidae". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 5 December 2004.
  • Sepkoski, Jack (2002). "A compendium of fossil marine animal genera". Bulletins of American Paleontology. 364: 560. Archived from the original on 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2011-05-18.
  • “The Wolffishes (Family : Anarhichadidae).” Finfish Aquaculture Diversification, by R. Le François Nathalie, CABI, 2010, pp. 417–418.