Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory




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CAAB: 37215000


Footballfishes, Prickly Deepsea Anglerfishes

Compiler and date details

2 May 2015 - Dianne J. Bray, Douglass F. HoeseJohn R. Paxton & Jennifer E. Gates

John R. Paxton, Jennifer E. Gates, Dianne J. Bray & Douglass F. Hoese


The deepsea anglerfish family Himantolophidae was revised by Bertelsen & Krefft (1988) who recognised 18 species in one genus. A single Australian species was examined by Bertelsen & Pietsch (1983). Subsequently three additional species have been found and some material is still unidentified to species. Himantolophus cornifer Bertelsen & Pietsch, 1988 is known from the Coral Sea just east of Australia and is likely to occur in Australian waters. Knowledge of the groups is summarised by Pietsch (2009).

Footballfishes are mesopelagic worldwide. Recorded prey items include fishes, crustaceans and squid. Females are characterised by having large, bony plates in the skin, dermal papillae on the snout and lower jaw, and a large esca. The free-living males are much smaller than the females, which may attain a maximum length of 61 cm.


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
25-Jun-2015 LOPHIIFORMES 02-May-2015 MODIFIED Dr Dianne Bray (NMV) Dr Doug Hoese (AM) Dr Matthew Lockett (AM)
12-Feb-2010 (import)