With the exception of a single species of Antennariidae occasionally taken in brackish or even fresh water (Antennarius biocellatus; see Pietsch and Grobecker, 1987: 174), lophiiforms are strictly marine fishes distributed throughout all oceans and major seas of the world. Only the Lophiidae, however, are present in the Mediterranean. Most are benthic as adults, typically occupying depths that range from the surface down to approximately 200 m, a few species extending down to 2500 m or more. All Ceratioidei (with the exception of the thaumatichthyid genus Thaumatichthys, which is benthic in 1000-3600 m) are meso- and bathypelagic, concentrated between approximately 800 and 2500 m.
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