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Related FAQs: Anglerfishes, Anglers 2, Angler ID, Angler Behavior, Angler Compatibility, Angler Selection, Angler Systems, Angler Feeding, Angler Disease, Angler Reproduction,

Related Articles: Fishes with A Lure by Bob Fenner
Batfishes, family Ogcocephalidae, Indonesian Angler/Frogfishes,

/The Conscientious Marine Aquarist

The Bizarre Frogfishes, Anglerfishes, Order Lophiiformes/Antennariiformes

Part 1 of 3

To: Part 2, Part 3

By Bob Fenner

Michael Krechmer photo of A. commerson

You know these fishes, if you can just find them in a tank or even harder, hidden amongst rubble and coral on a reef. They come with their own "fishing apparatus", an illicium (line) and esca (lure) for luring unsuspecting prey to their capacious maws. If they have pelvic fins on their girthy bodies, these are located ahead of their pectoral fins, and often used to "walk" their owner about. 

    The group includes many suborders (five in the present, presented scheme) and sixteen (to eighteen) families, about 65 genera and three hundred species... some are dominant forms in the abyssal depths, others lurk just under the substrate... all are cryptic and unseemly in appearance (at least to me...), though of course, "beautiful" in their own rights. 

    A few species make their way into pet-fish markets... the most important element to keep in mind in their captive husbandry is their penchant for swallowing their tankmates... and the fact that they either must have live foods regularly supplied or be trained to take fresh/dead foodstuffs from a wiggled feeding stick. 

Species of Interest:

Antennarius commerson (Latreille 1804), the Giant or Commerson's Anglerfish. At right a ten incher in N. Sulawesi. Below (black) one incher, caught in Hawai'i. A yellow one at Elmer's in Pittsburgh, PA. Others from N. Sulawesi To 13 inches in length. Widespread in the Indo-Pacific; Red Sea to Hawai'i. Occurs in nearly all colors, patterns (w/ the exception of blue!) matching sponges they're found in association with. Also often identified under the pseudonym A. moluccensis. Distinguished from other similar looking Anglers (e.g. A. pictus) by having a greater number of fin rays: anal (typically 8), dorsal (13), and pectoral (11), and shorter "fishing rod". 


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To: Part 2, Part 3

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