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Atlantic Football Fish

Himantolophus groenlandicus Reinhardt 1837

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Description

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Illicium and escal appendages relatively shortest in juveniles; length of illicium averaging about 49% SL in 34.5–106 mm specimens, followed by a slight decrease in relative length in larger specimens; average relative length of distal escal appendage remaining constant (about 1.5% SL) in specimens less than 200 mm, increasing to about 4% SL in the largest known specimens; average lengths of anterior and posterior escal appendages and longest illicial appendage showing gradual positive allometric growth; diameter of esca decreasing from a mean of about 7.5% SL in smaller specimens to about 5% in larger specimens. Anterior escal appendage simple in most specimens, rarely divided into more than two branches; posterior esca appendage simple or bifid in about half known specimens, but divided into 8 or 9 branches in some largest known specimens; illicial appendages more-or-less regularly arranged in pairs, tending to increase in number with growth, nearly all simple, except in distal-most and longest pair, which may bear several branches; except for extreme tips, which are bright silvery in fresh specimens, all escal appendages darkly pigmented; stem of illicium, escal bulb, and all appendages covered with small dermal spinules; papillae of snout and chin low and indistinct; 1–5 large spines on each lobe of pectoral fins, 4 to about 60 similar spines on each side of body, numbers increasing with growth; smallest known specimens, up to 32 mm, naked; head and body dark gray to blackish brown, fin rays more-or-less grayish brown, black on extreme tips; dorsal-fin rays 5; anal-fin rays 4; pectoral-fin rays 14–18.

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Diagnostic Description

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Metamorphosed females of Himantolophus groenlandicus differ from those of all other species of the Himantolophus groenlandicus-group in having the following combination of character states: length of anterior escal appendage 2.7–16% SL in specimens less than 100 mm, 16–42% SL in larger specimens; distal escal appendages 0.9–2.1% SL in specimens less than 200 mm, 1.0–4.2% SL in larger specimens; distal escal lobes blunt; posterior escal appendage undivided proximally, simple or divided distally into 2–6 branches, its total length 4.6–20% SL in specimens less than 100 mm, 15–34% SL in larger specimens; 2–13 (rarely less than 4) posterolateral appendages situated on and closely below base of escal bulb, all or nearly all arranged in pairs, simple or divided into 2–9 branches, distal and longest pair 14–41% SL in specimens less than 100 mm, about 23–51% SL in larger specimens.

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Distribution

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Himantolophus groenlandicus is widely distributed in the Atlantic Ocean, recorded from West Greenland and Iceland in the north to off Cape Town in the south and on both sides of the Atlantic including the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico (Bertelsen and Krefft, 1988:39, fig. 38). stranded or were caught in benthic trawls in less than 200 m.

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Habitat

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Mesopelagic, demersal. A majority of the metamorphosed specimens caught in open pelagic nets in tropical or subtropical waters came from maximum depths between 200 and 800 m while most of the large specimens recorded from northern waters were found found stranded or were caught in benthic trawls in less than 200 m.

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Main Reference

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Pietsch TW. 2009. Oceanic Anglerfishes: Extraordinary Diversity in the Deep Sea. Berkley: University of California Press. 638 p.

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Morphology

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Females of the H. groenlandicus-group differ from those of other species of the genus in having the following combination of character states: The light-guiding distal escal appendage is divided at the base, its total length 0.4–2% SL, shorter than the diameter of the escal bulb in specimens less than 110 mm, 1–11% SL in larger specimens. Each primary branch of the distal escal appendage has a simple or bifurcated tip and 0–2 tiny papilliform side branches. The base of the distal appendage is surrounded by four escal lobes of about equal size. An anterior escal appendage is present in most species (but rudimentary or absent in H. paucifilosus), its length 1.5–42% SL. The posterior escal appendage is longer (about 1.5–34% SL) than the distal escal appendage; its proximal part is undivided, with a simple bifurcated tip, or it is trifurcated (but never bifurcated) at its base (in some specimens it is represented by a transverse series of 2–3 separate, simple filaments). Two to 23 posterolateral appendages are present on and below the base of the escal bulb, the distal-most pair measuring 5.9–49% SL, longer than the posterior escal appendage, and emerging just below the base of the bulb. Small dermal spinules are present on the stem of the illicium, the escal bulb, and the escal appendages of specimens greater than 33 mm. The dermal papillae of the snout and chin are low and rather indistinct. The skin is devoid of “white patches.” The caudal-fin rays are white or only faintly pigmented, with dark tips in specimens less than 70–100 mm, but covered with dark pigment in larger specimens.

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References

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Bertelsen E, Krefft G. 1988. The ceratioid family Himantolophidae (Pisces, Lophiiformes). Steenstrupia 14(2):9–89.

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Size

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To at least 465 mm SL.

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Type locality

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Only illicium preserved, found washed ashore, southwest Greenland, near Godthaab, 1833.

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Type specimen(s)

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Holotype of Himantolophus groenlandicus: ZMUC 65, c. 465 mm SL.

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Diagnostic Description

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Illicium short, its base in advance of eye; rays of pectoral and unpaired fins sparsely pigmented, except their bases black; two pairs of swellings in the distal end of esca, almost equal in size and shape (Ref. 13608).Description: Distinguishing characteristics of metamorphosed female: length of anterior escal appendage 2.7-16% SL in specimens less than 10 cm, 16-42% SL in larger specimens; distal escal appendages 0.9-2.1% SL in specimens less than 20 cm, 1.0-4.2% SL in larger specimens; blunt distal escal lobes; posterior escal appendages undivided proximally, simple or divided distally into 2-6 branches, total length 4.6-20% in SL in specimens less than 10 cm, 15-34% SL in larger specimens; 2-13 posterolateral appendages on and closely below base of escal bulb, usually all arranged in pairs, simple or divided into 2-9 branches, distal and longest pair 14-41% SL in specimens less than 10 cm, 23-51% SL in larger specimens (Ref. 86949).
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Recorder
Cristina V. Garilao
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Morphology

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Dorsal spines (total): 1; Dorsal soft rays (total): 5 - 6; Analspines: 0; Analsoft rays: 4
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Trophic Strategy

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Dwarf males of 4 cm length apparently do not become parasitically attached to females (Ref. 10299).
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Grace Tolentino Pablico
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Biology

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Dwarf males of 4 cm length apparently do not become parasitically attached to females.
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Rainer Froese
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Importance

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fisheries: of no interest
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Himantolophus groenlandicus

provided by wikipedia EN

Himantolophus groenlandicus, the Atlantic footballfish or Atlantic football-fish, is an anglerfish found primarily in mesopelagic depths of the ocean. Despite its name, this species might not be restricted to the Atlantic Ocean, with its range possibly extending into the Indian Ocean[1] and to the Pacific Ocean. It is found in tropical and temperate regions.[2]

Description

Female Atlantic footballfish are about 60 cm (24 in) long,[2] and weigh about 11 kg (24 lb). Males are much smaller, only 4 cm (1.6 in). The female's extremely rotund body is studded with bony plates, each bearing a central spine. The modified ray on the head makes a thick "fishing-rod", tipped with a lure on a central luminous bulb. It uses this to attract smaller fish in the dark abyss. Despite the male's tiny size, it is not parasitic, unlike the males of many other anglerfish.

Relationship with humans

Due to being found in the deep water, few human sightings have occurred. Despite its fearsome appearance, it poses no actual danger. It is of little food value.

Predators

Several specimens have been reported from the stomachs of sperm whales caught in the Azores.[3]

References

  1. ^ a b Arnold, R. (2015). "Himantolophus groenlandicus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2015: e.T18127836A21910515. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T18127836A21910515.en. Retrieved 13 March 2021.
  2. ^ a b Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2020). "Himantolophus groenlandicus" in FishBase. December 2020 version.
  3. ^ CLARKE, R., 1956. "Sperm whales of the Azores". Discovery Reports, 28: 237-298, pis I-II.
  • Longmann's Animal Encyclopedia
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Himantolophus groenlandicus: Brief Summary

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Himantolophus groenlandicus, the Atlantic footballfish or Atlantic football-fish, is an anglerfish found primarily in mesopelagic depths of the ocean. Despite its name, this species might not be restricted to the Atlantic Ocean, with its range possibly extending into the Indian Ocean and to the Pacific Ocean. It is found in tropical and temperate regions.

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Distribution

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Greenland to northern South America
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North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Mary Kennedy [email]

Habitat

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Found to depths of 830 m, males apparently do not attach themselves to females.
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North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Mary Kennedy [email]

Habitat

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nektonic
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bibliographic citation
North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
contributor
Mary Kennedy [email]