Monkfish: description, habitat and interesting facts


The monkfish is the most extravagant-looking representative of the fishermen of the class. It lives in impressive depths, thanks to its unique ability to withstand tremendous pressure. We offer to get acquainted with this deep-sea inhabitant, possessing amazing taste qualities, and learn about it some interesting facts.



Let us get acquainted with the description of the monkfish - the sea fish, which prefers deep crevices, where the sunlight never gets. The European angler is a big fish, body length reaches one and a half meters, about 70% falls on the head, the average weight is about 20 kg. Distinctive features of fish are as follows:

  • A huge mouth with a large number of small but sharp teeth gives it a repulsive appearance. The canines are located in the jaw in a special way: at an angle, which makes the capture of prey even more effective.
  • Naked and scaleless skin of the head with fringe, tubercles and spines also does not adorn the deep-sea inhabitants.
  • On the head is the so-called fishing rod - the continuation of the dorsal fin, at the end of which leathery bait is located. This feature of the monkfish determines its second name - anglerfish, despite the fact that the fishing pole is present exclusively in females.
  • The bait consists of mucus and is a leathery bag that emits light from the luminous bacteria that reside in the mucus. Interestingly, each type of anglerfish emits light of a certain color.
  • The upper jaw is more mobile than the lower jaw, and due to the flexibility of the bones, fish have the ability to swallow prey of impressive size.
  • Small closely set round eyes are located on the top of the head.
  • The color of the fish is inconspicuous: from dark gray to dark brown, which helps the angler to successfully mask at the bottom and deftly catch prey.

It is interesting how the fish hunt: it hides, exposing its bait. As soon as some unwary fish becomes interested, the devil will open the mouth and swallow it.



Find out where the angler fish (monkfish). The habitat depends on the species. For example, European anglers prefer to live at a depth of 200 meters, but their deep-sea counterparts, which are found more than a hundred species, have chosen for themselves depressions and crevices, where there is a lot of pressure and there is no sunlight at all. They can be found at a depth of 1.5 to 5 km in the seas of the Atlantic Ocean.

There are anglerfish in the so-called South (Antarctic) Ocean, which unites the waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans, washing the shores of the white continent - Antarctica. Monkfish also lives in the Baltic and Barents, Okhotsk and Yellow Seas, off the coast of Korea and Japan, some species are found in the Black Sea.



Sea Devils - fish from the order of the fishermen. Currently, eight species are known, one of which is extinct. Representatives of each of them have a characteristic frightening appearance.

  • American anglerfish. Belongs to the bottom varieties, the body length is impressive - adult females are often more than a meter. Appearance resemble tadpoles because of the huge head. The average life expectancy is up to 30 years.
  • Southern European anglerfish or black-bellied. The length of the body is about one meter, the name of the species is related to the color of the peritoneum, the back and sides of the fish are pinkish-gray. The average life expectancy is about 20 years.
  • The West Atlantic anglerfish is a bottom fish, reaching a length of 60 cm. Object of fishing.
  • Cape (Burmese). The most visible part of his body is a giant flat head, also characterized by a short tail.
  • Japanese (yellow, far east). They have an unusual body color - brown-yellow, live in the Sea of ​​Japan, East China.
  • South African. It inhabits the southern coast of Africa.
  • European. A very large anglerfish, whose body length reaches 2 meters, is distinguished by a huge mouth in the shape of a crescent, its small sharp teeth resemble hooks. Fishing rod length - up to 50 cm.

Thus, all types of angler fish have common characteristics - a huge mouth with a large number of shallow, but sharp teeth, a bait with a bait - the most unusual way of hunting among the inhabitants of underwater depths, bare skin. In general, the view of the fish is really frightening, so the loud name is quite justified.



Scientists believe that the first angler fish appeared on the planet more than 120 million years ago. Body shape and lifestyle are largely determined by where the devil prefers to live. If the fish is bottom, then it is almost flat, but if the angler settles closer to the surface, it has a body compressed from the sides. But regardless of the habitat of the monkfish (anglerfish) refers to predators.

The devil is a unique fish, it moves along the bottom not like the rest of its brethren, but with jumps carried out thanks to a strong pectoral fin. From this, another name for a marine inhabitant is a frog fish.


Fish prefer not to expend energy, therefore, even while swimming, they spend no more than 2% of their energy reserves. They are distinguished by enviable patience, they are able not to move for a long time, waiting for prey, almost never breathing - the pause between sighs is about 100 seconds.


Earlier it was considered how the devil preys on prey, attracting it with a luminous bait. Interestingly, the fish do not perceive the size of their prey, often large specimens larger than the angler fish are caught in its mouth, so he cannot eat them. And because of the specifics of the device, the jaw cannot even let go.

Anglerfish is famous for its incredible gluttony and courage, so it can even attack scuba divers. Of course, deaths from such an attack are unlikely, but the sharp teeth of the anglerfish can disfigure the body of an unwary person.


Favorite food

As previously mentioned, anglers are predators, preferring to use other deep-sea inhabitants as feed. Among the favorite dainty treats of monkfish are:

  • Cod.
  • Flounder.
  • Ramps are small in size.
  • Acne.
  • Cuttlefish
  • Squids.
  • Crustaceans.

Sometimes mackerel or herring are victims of predators, this happens if the hungry angler rises closer to the surface.


Anglerfish is amazing in almost everything. For example, the breeding process is very unusual both for marine life and for wildlife in general. When partners find each other, the male sticks to the belly of his chosen one and firmly grows to it, the fish seem to become a single organism. Gradually, the process goes even further - fish appear in the general skin, blood vessels, and certain organs of the male - the fins and eyes - atrophy as unnecessary. It is because of this feature that researchers have not been able to detect the male anglerfish for a long time and describe it.

In males, only the gills, heart, and genitals continue to function.


Interesting Facts

Having got acquainted with the description of the monkfish and the peculiarities of its lifestyle, we suggest finding out some interesting facts about this horrible fish:

  • The fishing rods of some deep-sea anglers are clearly divided into a rod, a fishing line and a bait, becoming almost an exact replica of fishing gear.
  • Some types of angler fish are considered genuine delicacies. For example, tender monk meat or goose liver are the dishes that real gourmets want to try. They love monkfish in France, where soups and main dishes are cooked from its tail.
  • A very hungry representative of angler fish can even catch a waterfowl, but the hunt will be his last - choking on down and feathers, the fish will die.
  • Males and females are very different in size. So, for a female about 60 cm long, the male will be no more than 6 cm. Therefore, the male individuals parasitize on their “friends”, becoming part of a single whole.

Such is the monkfish - an unusual creation of nature, the inhabitant of the depths and an amazing predator, using a trick that is not typical for other representatives of the fauna. Thanks to its delicious white meat, almost devoid of bones, angler fish is a commercial value fish.

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