PORT PHILLIP BAY


Tasselled Anglerfish 

Rhycherus filamentosus (Castelnau, 1872)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: I; I; I; 12-13
Anal fin spines/rays: 7-8
Caudal fin rays: 9
Pectoral fin rays: 9-11
Ventral fin spines/rays: 5

Interpreting fin count meristics.
Spines are in Roman numerals and soft rays are in Arabic numerals. Spines and rays that are continuous in one fin are separated by a comma. Fin sections are separated by semicolons.

Detailed descriptions of fin count and other meristics are in:
Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. and Kuiter, R.H. (2008) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Order level detail.
A very diverse group of marine fishes found in shallow and deep sea environments, all with the first dorsal-fin spine modified into luring structure. Although most have short, rounded bodies, others are flattened and disc-like. Their mouths are enormous and they have amazingly distensible stomachs allowing then to engulf very large prey items.

Family level detail.
Small bottom-dwelling fishes with short, rounded slightly compressed bodies, three well-developed dorsal spines and huge upturned mouths. The first dorsal-fin spine (illicium) is modified into a 'fishing rod' tipped with a fleshy bait or lure (esca) that is wriggled in front of the mouth to attract unsuspecting prey.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Actinopterygii
Order:
Lophiiformes
Family:
Antennariidae
Genus:
Rhycherus
Species:
filamentosus

General Description

Body moderately large, oval, tail base short; skin smooth, without spinules, densely covered in long filamentous appendages; illicium ('fishing rod') tipped with a large U-shaped worm-like appendage (esca). Brownish to reddish above with dark bars and blotches, pale below. To 23 cm.

Biology

Although fairly common, the Tasselled Anglerfish is extremely well-camouflaged and not easily seen.

Habitat

Rocky reefs covered in macroalgae, in depths of 2-60 m.

Reefs

Distribution guide

Southern Australia.

Species Group

Fishes Anglerfishes

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

23 cm

Diet

Carnivore

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Bray, D.J.

Di Bray is a Senior Collection Manager of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Gomon, M.F.

Dr. Martin Gomon is a Senior Curator of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F., 2011, Tasselled Anglerfish, Rhycherus filamentosus, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 25 Sep 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6328

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