PORT PHILLIP BAY


Whitespotted Anglerfish 

Phyllophryne scortea (McCulloch & Waite, 1918)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: I; I; I; 15-16
Anal fin spines/rays: 7-9
Caudal fin rays: 9
Pectoral fin rays: 10-12
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:
Phyllophryne
Species:
scortea

General Description

Body short, deep, tail base absent; skin smooth with scattered fleshy appendages; illicium ('fishing rod') tipped with an oval appendage (esca) with several filaments. Variable in colour - orange, yellow, green, brown to dark gray or black, often with whitish patches or spots. To 10 cm.

Biology

Anglerfishes are well-camouflaged ambush predators with their skin variously covered in spinules, filaments and other appendages to aid their camouflage.

Habitat

Bays, estuaries and along the coast, often under rocks, in depths of 1-44 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

10 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, Whitespotted Anglerfish, Phyllophryne scortea, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 25 Sep 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/7707

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