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Humpback anglerfish

The humpback anglerfish or common black devil, Melanocetus johnsonii, is a deepsea anglerfish in the family Melanocetidae, found in tropical to temperate parts of all oceans at depths to 2,000 m (6,600 ft). Its length is up to 2.9 cm (1.1 in) for males and up to 18 cm (7.1 in) for females.

The Male[edit]

Male humpback anglerfish are much smaller than the females, being no more than 3 cm (just over an inch) long, whereas the female typically reaches 18 cm (7.1 in) in length. Male humpback anglerfish remain free-swimming into adulthood. Despite being free-swimming, it does not feed and only attaches briefly to a female. which is not the case with other deepsea anglerfish: with these, males swim freely when young, but before reaching adulthood, the male fixes itself permanently to the rear of the female's body, living thereafter as a parasite of the female. The male's internal organs now atrophy as the fish shares the female's blood and becomes simply a sperm provider as required.


  • Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2006). "Melanocetus johnsonii" in FishBase. May 2006 version.
  • Ayling, Tony; Cox, Geoffrey (1982). Collins Guide to the Sea Fishes of New Zealand. Auckland, New Zealand: William Collins. ISBN 0-00-216987-8. 


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