Angler Fish – A Fish With A Light

Dear friends, have you ever heard about a fish with a light? That sounds interesting, right? Exactly, angler fish is one kind of fish with light, which lives in the oceans. Nonetheless, some people insist that angler fish are ugly. And others even do not want to know more about angler fish. In the article today, we will further talk about angler fish.

Content Table

A fish with a light

Belonging to the Lophiiformes order, the angler fish is a bony fish. Generally, it is dark brown and grey. The angler fish is rounded and has a large mouth. With inclined and depressed teeth, it helps angler fish to eat and reduces the chances of food sliding away from its mouth. Aside from that, the angler fish is famous for its predation method. The luminescent fin is the temptation to lure other fish. And the luminescence is created by symbiotic bacteria. In fact, the bacteria can not create luminescence without angler fish. And the bacteria only live in seawater.

Also, female angler fish can live longer than male ones. Specifically, female ones can live up to 25 years, while male angler fish can live 21 years on average. By the way, the angler fish is peaceful and hermaphrodite.

Angler fish behavior

As we have mentioned above, angler fish live in the oceans, somewhere in dim light. Hence, the light would be an eye-catcher. As a result, the luminescent fin of angler fish can be a lure to attract prey. But the male ones do not use it to hunt. As for male angler fish, their digestive system makes no sense after they become adults. They just search for females to mate with and then live a parasitic life. It means that only female angler fish prey on food, rather than males. Unluckily, it is difficult to find mates in deep oceans.

When a male angler fish finds a female one, the male will bite the female’s skin and fuse into her body. Then the male attaches to her skin and blood, while also losing eyes and internal organs. Finally, only the testes are left and become a lump to produce sperm. And usually, many male angler fish attach to one female.

How big is an angler fish

There are diverse species of angler fish, more than 200 species. Some live in coral reefs, while others live in deep oceans or ocean bottoms. Also, some live near the shore. Actually, it is feasible to keep small angler fish from shallow water in an aquarium, but it may be time-consuming. On the other side, most angler fish are carnivores and are not picky in their diet. Live and dead prey can be food sources for angler fish, for instance, fish, squid, shrimp, snails, sea turtles, and other invertebrates.

Seeing that the angler fish has a large mouth and flexible bones, it can swallow food as large as itself, especially female angler fish. And the ability to expand its jaw and stomach allows the angler fish to eat more food or stock food. Usually, most angler fish can grow up under 12 inches, while others even reach 40 inches long. Nonetheless, the biggest one can be 47 inches long. But the female ones are larger than the male ones. And angler fish can swim fast if they feel danger. Sometimes, the fish may even swim inversely.

Aside from angler fish, another fish can give out light, named “Lanternfish”. In this segment, we will make a comparison between angler fish and lanternfish.


First of all, angler fish and lanternfish belong to diverse orders. Angler fish is a bony fish from the Lophiiformes order, and the lanternfish is small sea fish, coming from the Characiformes order.


Besides that, angler fish and lanternfish are different in appearance. With sharp spines between the tail and the body, the angler fish is rounded. And it has a large mouth as well as inclined and depressed teeth, which allows angler fish to eat food as large as itself. On the other hand, with a round body and thin tail, lanternfish have silver-gray scales. Additionally, the lanternfish can reach up to 6 inches, while the angler fish can grow up to 12 inches.

Light feature

On the other side, angler fish and lanternfish are varying from light features. Angler fish has a luminescent fin – a bioluminescent temptation. It is mainly to lure and catch prey. While lanternfish possess the light of bioluminescence. It is the luminaries on the head, eyes, and tail. And it can emit diverse colors, like blue, red, and purple. The main purpose of bioluminescence is to protect itself from predators. After lighting up, lanternfish would become invisible.

Living areas

Furthermore, the living areas of angler fish and lanternfish can be different. angler fish is a bottom dweller, living 2–500 meters below sea level. Conversely, lanternfish prefer living in the middle areas.

Final words

Angler fish would not bite humans, but if you can not stand the appearance of angler fish, it is not recommended to keep one in your saltwater aquarium. If you plan to introduce one, do not forget to choose a suitable tank size, because they can grow to 12 inches on average. That is all for today. Any wonderful ideas about angler fish or lanternfish, welcome to share them with us in the comment. Finally, thank you for reading.

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