Glover's Anglerfish, Rhycherus gloveri Pietsch 1984

Other Names: Glovers Anglerfish, Glover's Frogfish

Glover's Anglerfish, Rhycherus gloveri. Source: Rudie H. Kuiter / Aquatic Photographics. License: All rights reserved

An extremely well-camouflaged reddish-brown anglerfish with darker patches and often silvery-white markings on the head and inside the mouth. Glover's Anglerfish has a relatively short illicium (rod) tipped with a lure: a single tapering appendage bearing short filaments within a V-shaped depression along its inner margin and a dense cluster of more elongate filaments arising from its base.  

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Rhycherus gloveri in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Jun 2024,

Glover's Anglerfish, Rhycherus gloveri Pietsch 1984

More Info


Endemic to southern Australia from Adelaide and Kangaroo Island, south Australia, to Ledge Point, north of Perth, Western Australia. Inhabits algal-covered rocky reefs in depths to about 150 m.


Dorsal fin I+I+I +12-13; Anal fin 7-8; Caudal fin 9; Pectoral fin 9-11; Pelvic fin 5.
Body short, deep, slightly compressed;  caudal peduncle short. Head large; eyes small (3.9-8.2% SL), protruding conspicuously from surface of head;  mouth large, upturned; teeth numerous, short, recurved; gill opening a small pore posterovenetral to pectoral-fin base. 
Scales absent; skin smooth, without dermal spinules, but everywhere covered with close-set, tapering, cutaneous appendages, some as long as 20% SL. 
Dorsal fin in four parts, illicium (first spine), two solitary skin-covered spines, and elongate soft dorsal; illicium arising on tip of snout, short (9.9-17.6% SL), not covered by dermal spinules, esca present, consisting of single tapering appendage (as long as 22% SL), bearing short filaments within "V-shaped" depression along its inner margin and tight cluster of more elongate filaments arising from its base;  second dorsal spine above eye, narrow, not connected to head by membrane, usually terminating in a tight cluster of small spherical swellings (length 18.7-30.3% SL); third dorsal spine on nape, free, only proximal 20-25% of its length connected posteriorly to body by membrane; soft dorsal with elongate base terminating well before caudal fin;  anal fin small, short base terminating below rear end of dorsal base; caudal fin rounded, all rays branched. Pectoral fins prominent, arm-like. Pelvic fins jugular.


Tan, yellow-brown to dark brown on upper part of head and body, with three broad, dark-brown to black bars, one on cheek, one just above and behind pectoral fin and one just anterior to caudal peduncle; lower part of head and body, especially belly, light tan to cream; in some specimens silvery-white irregularly-shaped blotches inside mouth, on dorsal surface of head, on nape, on periphery of eye, at corner of mouth, and on body dorsal to pectoral lobe; unpaired fins tan to cream with series of tiny, black flecks on membrane between rays.

Similar Species

The similar Tasselled Anglerfish, Rhycherus filamentosus, differs in having a long illicium, 16.7-31.6% SL (vs, 9.9-17.6%SL in R. gloveri), the esca consisting of a pair of tapering, worm-like appendages, with a low, broad medial flap (vs. the esca consisting of a single tapering appendage, bearing short filaments within a "V- shaped" depression along its inner margin, and a tight cluster of more elongate filaments arising from its base in R. gloveri).


The species is named in honour of  C.J. M. Glover of the South Australia Museum,  Adelaide, for his many contributions to Australian ichthyology and for making material available for revisionary studies of Australian frogfishes.

Species Citation

Rhycherus gloveri Pietsch 1984, Copeia 1984(1): 70, fig. 3b. Type locality: Clifton Beach rocks, Bunbury, Western Australia, found dead in tidepool.


Bray, D.J. 2019


Atlas of Living Australia

Glover's Anglerfish, Rhycherus gloveri Pietsch 1984


Arnold, R.J. & Pietsch, T.W. 2012. Evolutionary history of frogfishes (Teleostei: Lophiiformes: Antennariidae): A molecular approach. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 62: 117-129.

Pietsch, T.W. 1984. A review of the frogfish genus Rhycherus with the description of a new species from Western and South Australia. Copeia 1984(1): 68-72 figs 1-4

Pietsch, T.W. 1994. Family Antennariidae. pp. 285-297 figs 254-264 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs. 

Pietsch, T.W. 2008. Antennariidae. pp. 364-374 in Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp. 

Pietsch, T.W. & Grobecker, D.B. 1987. Frogfishes of the World: Systematics, Zoogeography, and Behavioral Ecology. Palo Alto : Stanford University Press 420 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37210026

Biology:Parental care of eggs

Depth:1-149 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:16 cm


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