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Anglerfishes: Lophiiformes

Behavior And Reproduction

Anglerfishes ambush their prey. During a typical ambush, the anglerfish remains motionless (either on the bottom or in open water) until it detects prey. When it senses prey, the anglerfish uses its fishing rod to attract the prey to within reach. When the prey reaches the strike zone, the anglerfish opens its mouth rapidly and widely, creating strong suction, which draws in the prey. The entire open, suck, and swallow takes four to seven milliseconds.

Little is known about the reproduction and early life of anglerfishes. Scientists believe that the larvae (LAR-vee) of all anglerfishes drift in open water.

Larvae are animals in an early stage and must change form before becoming adults. Eggs are released from female anglerfishes embedded in a long ribbonlike veil of mucus. This veil can be as long as 39 feet (12 meters) and as wide as 5 feet (1.5 meters) and has been estimated to contain more than 1.3 million eggs. The males of some deep-sea anglerfishes are tiny and permanently attach themselves to the bodies of females.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceFish and Other Cold-Blooded VertebratesAnglerfishes: Lophiiformes - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Sargassumfish (histrio Histrio): Species Accounts, Monkfish (lophius Americanus): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, ANGLERFISHES AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION S