Long-spined Anglerfish, Echinophryne mitchellii (Morton 1897)

Other Names: Bristly Frogfish, Mitchell's Anglerfish, Mitchell's Frogfish, Prickly Angler Fish, Spinycoat Anglerfish

A juvenile Spinycoat Anglerfish, Echinophryne mitchellii, at Blairgowrie Pier, Port Phillip, Victoria - photographed during the Great Victoria Fish Count, 28 November, 2015. Source: Charmaine Alford. License: All rights reserved

A very rare brownish to pinkish, reddish-brown or yellowish anglerfish with irregular mottling, and skin covered in long, divided spinules, giving it a brush-like texture. 
This species was previously known as Trichophryne mitchellii.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Echinophryne mitchellii in Fishes of Australia, accessed 22 Feb 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/3834

Long-spined Anglerfish, Echinophryne mitchellii (Morton 1897)

More Info


Endemic to coastal waters of eastern Victoria, to Streaky Bay, South Australia, including Flinders Island and the east coast of Tasmania to Bruny Island. Found in depths of 5-70 m.


Dorsal fin I; I; I; 13-14; Anal fin 8-9; Caudal fin 9; Pectoral fin 11; Pelvic fin 5.
Body short, deep, slightly compressed; caudal peduncle short. Head large; eyes small (4.6-6.7% SL); mouth large, upturned; teeth numerous, short, recurved; gill opening a small pore posteroventral to pectoral-fin base.
Scales absent; skin covered with close-set, bifurcate spinules, length of spines of each spinule three to four times distance between tips of spines (some spinules greater than 4% SL in large specimens);   each eye surrounded by ring of separate clumps of tightly-clustered spinules.

Dorsal fin in four parts, illicium (first spine), two solitary skin-covered spines, and elongate soft dorsal;  illicium arising on tip of snout, (17.0-21.4% SL), approximately equal to length of second dorsal spine, distinct esca absent, spinule- covered illicium terminating in cluster of somewhat enlarged spinules and sometimes few, elongate, cutaneous appendages; second dorsal spine above eye, narrow, not connected to head by membrane, usually terminating in tight cluster of spinules and cutaneous appendages (length 15.4-20.5% SL);   third spine on nape, connected posteriorly along most of its length to body by thick membrane; soft dorsal with elongate base terminating well before caudal; anal fin small, short base terminating below rear end of dorsal base; caudal fin rounded, outermost ray above and below unbranched. Pectoral fins prominent, arm-like. Pelvic fins jugular.


Beige, light pinkish-brown, yellow to yellowish-brown, upper part of head and body usually slightly darker than lower, with irregular, dark-brown to black mottling, especially on face and dorsal surface of head; face, dorsal surface of head, including dorsal spines, and soft dorsal-fin greyish in some specimens.

Species Citation

Antennarius mitchellii Morton, 1897, Proc. Roy. Soc. Tas. 1896: 98. Type locality: Lisdillon, eastern coast of Tasmania, Australia.


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Long-spined Anglerfish, Echinophryne mitchellii (Morton 1897)


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

May, J.L. & Maxwell, J.G.H. 1986. Field Guide to Trawl Fish from Temperate Waters of Australia. Hobart : CSIRO Division of Marine Research 492 pp.

McCulloch, A.R. 1929. A check-list of the fishes recorded from Australia. Part III. Records of the Australian Museum 5: 329–436

Morton, A. 1897. Antennarius mitchellii sp. nov. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 1896: 98. http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/38552#page/158/mode/1up

Pietsch, T.W. 1984. The genera of frogfishes (family Antennariidae). Copeia 1984(1): 27-44 fig. 1

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.

Scott, T.D., Glover, C.J.M. & Southcott, R.V. 1974. The Marine and Freshwater Fishes of South Australia. Adelaide : Government Printer 392 pp. figs.

Waite, E.R. 1921. Illustrated catalogue of the fishes of South Australia. Records of the South Australian Museum (Adelaide) 2(1): 1-208 293 figs pl. 1

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37210001

Depth:5-70 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:15 cm


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