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Dermatias platynogaster, the Bulbous Deep Sea Angler, is a deep-sea fish known from only three specimens , all females collected in the Western Pacific Ocean, with gear fished on the bottom: one off Luzon in the Philippines, taken with a beam trawl in relatively shallow water (549 m); the second in the vicinity of the Magellan Seamounts, east of the Mariana Islands, with a bottom trawl fished at a maximum depth of 1342 m; and the third in the vicinity of the Townsville Trough (Queensland, Australia), with a bottom trawl fished at a maximum depth of 1188 m (Kharin and Pietsch 2007). This species, the only species placed in the genus Dermatias, is distinguished from all other members of the family Oneirodidae by its unusually deep caudal peduncle, extremely short head, and remarkably small number of teeth in the jaws (Pietsch and Kharin 2004; Pietsch 2009). Like other anglerfishes, D. platynogaster have an escal appendage on the top of the head, which presumably functions as a bacterial bioluminescent lure, as in related species. Escal morphology is strikingly similar to that of some Oneirodes species (Pietsch and Kharin 2004).

The D. platynogaster that have been found have ranged between 134 and 175 mm in length (Pietsch 2009).


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© Sara Eckert and Leo Shapiro

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