Fanfin Angler, Caulophryne jordani Goode & Bean 1896

A female Fanfin Angler, Caulophryne jordani, with an attached male - photographed at a depth of 800 m in the Azores Archipelago by the manned submersible LULA1000. Source: Rebikoff-Niggeler Foundation. License: All rights reserved

A short rounded ceratioid anglerfish with extremely long dorsal- and anal-fin rays enveloping the body, and a long illicium on the snout tipped with whitish bioluminescent esca (lure) with many filaments. The whisker-like filaments and fin rays may act as a net. The smaller males are parasitic on the females.
Fabulous footage of a female Fanfin Angler with a dwarf male fused to her belly.
The pair were filmed by a manned deep-sea submersible at a dpeth of 800 metres off São Jorge Island, the Azores, Portugal, August 2016.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Caulophryne jordani in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Jun 2024,

Fanfin Angler, Caulophryne jordani Goode & Bean 1896

More Info


Off Newcastle, New South Wales, to south of Tasmania, and on the Norfolk Ridge in the Tasman Sea, just south of AUS EEZ (32º37´S, 167º47´E). Elsewhere the species is circumglobal in all oceans, except in Polar seas.


Dorsal fin 16-19; Anal fin 14-18; Pectoral fin 16-19; Upper jaw teeth 17-39; Lower jaw teeth 12-26; Vomerine teeth 2-5Illicium pigmented except near esca, with 5-14 elongate translucent filaments along entire length, all but distal-most arising from posterior margin; length of illicium 16.8-36.8%SL; stem of illicium pigmented except near esca; esca with an elongate filamentous anterolateral appendage; 2 distal appendages, each bearing numerous filaments, anterior most short and stout, opaque along posterior margin, posterior most considerably more slender; posterolateral appendage bearing numerous short filaments and with palmate opaque distal tip.


The smaller males are parasitic on the females. Larvae and free-swimming males have pelvic fins, which are lost in females and parasitic males. Males grow to about 1.6 cm TL.

Species Citation

Caulophryne jordani Goode & Bean 1896, Special Bulletin U. S. Natl Mus. 2: 496, pl. 121 fig. 409. Type locality: Gulf Stream off Long Island, New York, USA, 39°27'N, 71°15'W, Albatross station 2747, depth 0-1276 fathoms.


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Fanfin Angler, Caulophryne jordani Goode & Bean 1896


Goode, G.B. & Bean, T.H. 1896. Oceanic ichthyology. Special Bulletin United States National Museum 2: 1-553 pls 1-123 

Jónsson, G. & Pálsson, J. 1999. Fishes of the suborder Ceratioidei (Pisces: Lophiiformes) in Icelandic and adjacent waters. Rit Fiskideildar 16: 197-208. PDF available, open access

Knudsen, S. 2015. Caulophryne jordani. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T190447A60458538. Downloaded on 03 April 2018.

Pietsch, T.W. 1979. Systematics and distribution of ceratioid anglerfishes of the family Caulophrynidae with the description of a new genus and species from the Banda Sea. Contributions in Science (Los Angeles) 310: 1-25.

Pietsch, T.W. 1999. Families Caulophrynidae, Neoceratiidae, Melanocetidae, Himantolophidae, Diceratiidae, Oneirodidae, Thaumatichthyidae, Centrophrynidae, Ceratiidae, Gigantactinidae, Linophrynidae. pp. 2026-2037 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 3 pp. 1397-2068.

Pietsch, T.W. 2009. Oceanic Anglerfishes. Extraordinary Diversity in the Deep Sea. Berkeley and Los Angeles : University of California Press pp. i-xii + 1-557.

Stewart, A.L. & Pietsch, T.W. 1998. The ceratioid anglerfishes (Lophiiformes: Ceratioidei) of New Zealand. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 28(1): 1-37.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37221001


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:600-1625 m

Habitat:Mesopelagic, bathypelagic

Max Size:21.5 cm TL (males 1.6 cm)

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CAAB distribution map