Anglerfish: The Frightening Deep Sea Predators who Use a Shiny Lure to Attract Prey & Mate Latched on Each Other FOREVER.

Let’s expose all their frightening secrets!

Katy Ramm
5 min readMay 4


source: flickr

Widely considered as one of the most fascinating ocean inhabitants, Anglerfish is a creature with remarkable features.

Their common name is Anglerfish, belonging to the order Lophiiformes. There are more than 322 different living species, distributed among 65 genera and 18 families. Most of them have specific common characteristics.

Their name derives from their characteristic predation mode, where an elongated dorsal spine (known as illicium) concludes to a light-producing organ (known as an esca) and is used in order to lure their prey.

All the species are carnivorous and come in different colors and sizes. Their length can vary from 20 cm to over one meter (!) with weights up to 45 kg!

There are some shallow-water anglerfish that actually remain in ambush, being camouflaged in order to capture their prey

Most of the anglerfish live in the seas of the Atlantic and Antarctic Oceans, in some cases up to 2000 meters in depth.

Their most distinctive characteristic, their dorsal spine protruding above their mouths, is what is used for the anglerfish for luring their prey. Their prey sees the luminous flesh and as it believes to have found its own prey comes closer until it gets eaten by this ‘angry-looking’ fish.

How does their dorsal fin become luminous?

The end of their fishing-rod-like extension is actually inhabited by bacteria called bioluminescent, which make the structure to glow.

The enormous mouth of the anglerfish allows them to swallow prey up to twice as…



Katy Ramm

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