Goosefish, Lophiodes naresi (Günther 1880)

Other Names: Challenger Monkfish, Fishing-frog

A Goosefish, Lophiodes naresi, ASIZP 63234. Source: Ho, Hsuan-Ching. License: All rights reserved


A moderately-sized ambush predator with a broad depressed head, smooth bony ridges between the eyes and a deep U-shaped pit between the ridges above the eyes, and the spinous dorsal fin with 6 long, well-developed spines.

The Goosefish has the first dorsal-fin spine modified into a long rod (illicium) with a lure at the end (esca) that is used as a fishing lure to attract prey.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Lophiodes naresi in Fishes of Australia, accessed 16 Apr 2024,

Goosefish, Lophiodes naresi (Günther 1880)

More Info


Also in the Philippines and the Admiralty Islands (PNG); bottom dwellers at 180–450m.


Meristic features: Dorsal fin I; I; I; III; 8; Anal fin 6; Caudal fin 8; Pectoral fin 13-19; Pelvic fin I, 5.

Body disk oval-shaped; head less than half of body length; interorbital strongly concave, forming a deep U-shaped pit between eyes; humeral spine well developed, sharp and simple; 

Illicium slender, devoid of tendrils, shorter than second dorsal spine; esca long, smooth with a pennant-like flap, long cirri, a pale translucent bulb and usually dark, stalked, eye-like appendages; second and third dorsal spines elongate and with several pairs of darkly pigment tendrils. 

Skin smooth, scaleless, with numerous large flattened tendrils along sides and lower edge of head, others on 2nd–6th dorsal-fin spines.


To a maximum standard length of 25 cm.


Purplish brown above, whitish below; soft dorsal fin with rows of dark brown spots forming thin horizontal bands across fin; anal fin slightly darker distally; oral cavity lightly pigmented except for dark patch posteriorly on ventral surface. 


Carnivore, feeds mostly on fishes. The Goosefish is an efficient ambush predator that attracts prey with a complex lure that resembles a small shrimp or prawn. 


Although of no interest to fisheries in Australia, the Goosefish is taken as bycatch in commercial trawls. Closely related species are commonly eaten elsewhere in the world.

Species Citation

Lophius naresi Günther 1880, Rept. Challenger, Zool., Shore Fishes 1(6): 56, pl. 25. Type locality: Nares Harbour, Admiralty Islands (PNG).


Dianne J. Bray

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37208004

Biology:Fishing lure on head

Depth:180-450 m

Feeding:Carnivore - ambush predator

Habitat:Bottom dweller

Max Size:25 cm SL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map