Ceratias holboelli

Ceratias holboelli

Ceratias holboelli

The family of this deep sea angler fish is known as ‘the sea devils’. All anglerfish are recognized by a lure on top of its back reaching forward - it is used to attract pray in front of its mouth. The lure is really a highly modified first dorsal spine of the fish. 

This species is found in all of the world’s oceans, at depths of 0 to 4,400 m, but mainly between 400 and 2,000 m. Females typically are 77 cm long, but can reach 120 cm. The much smaller males only reach 16 cm. Another unique character of some deep sea angler fish are the parasitic dwarf males. These males are essentially free living sperm packs. Upon locating a female, the anglerfish males will bite her side. This biting triggers hormones that fuse his lips to her and dissolve his organs. Eventually, he becomes nothing more than a testis on her side

The species' scientific epithet commemorates Carl Peter Holbøll, a Danish civil servant and early explorer of the fauna of Greenland. The species was discovered by zoologist Henrik Nikolai Krøyer. Several specimens have been found in the stomachs of sperm whalescaught in the Azoresand in the Antarctic.

Fotos: Rasmus Sigvaldi