Anglerfish are a family of predatory fish consisting of over 200 separate species. They are characterized by their rod-like growths called illicium, which are used to lure in prey. The illicium extends over the fish’s eyes and has a fleshy growth which it wiggles to attract other fish. They have distensible jaws and stomachs which enable them to prey on fish up to twice their size.
Anglerfish are a family of predatory fish consisting of over 200 separate species.
Anglerfish originate in the North Atlantic Ocean.
Anglerfish come in subdued shades of red, yellow, tan, orange and black.
Maintenance and care
Choosing tank mates for an anglerfish is a tricky business because it can prey on fish up to twice its size, and because it can also be injured by larger more aggressive fish. There are plenty of reports of anglerfish that have lost their illicium after being housed with puffers and triggers. For this reason, most aquarists prefer to keep these fish alone or in species aquariums.
These fish are not active swimmers and spend most of their time lounging at the bottom of the aquarium. They are reef safe and also prefer aquariums with plenty of rock and coral cover which they can blend in with. They also produce a significant amount of waste, so filtration is an important consideration in their aquariums.
Anglerfish thrive when fed on live foods such as small fish, brine shrimp and ghost shrimp. They can also be trained to accept frozen foods like krill, mysis shrimp and chunks of fish. This can be done by attaching the food to a stick and wiggling it in front of the fish to stimulate its prey drive.
Anglerfish are not active swimmers and spend most of their time lounging at the bottom of the aquarium.
It is unheard of for anglerfish to breed in the home aquarium.
In their natural habitat, they display extremely intriguing reproductive behavior where the male attaches itself to the body of the female. When this happens, the male will excrete a special enzyme onto the body of the female and literally blend its body into hers, sharing her blood system. The male will also gradually shrink in size to enable the female to function without a great deal of hindrance to her movements.
Assorted, Orange, Sargassum, Striated, Wartskin, etc.
Amy Tokic, Editor of PetGuide.com, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).
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