Spot-tail Anglerfish, Lophiocharon trisignatus (Richardson 1844)

Other Names: Rough Angler Fish, Spot-tailed Anglerfish, Spotted-tail Anglerfish, Threespot Frogfish, Three-spot Frogfish

A Spot-tail Anglerfish, Lophiocharon trisignatus, brooding eggs at Raja Ampat Islands, West Papua, Indonesia. Source: Mary Jane Adams. License: All rights reserved

An uncommon anglerfish with rows of transparent ocelli with dark margins on the caudal fin membranes, a long naked illicium (fishing rod) with a large complex esca (lure).

Spot-tail Anglerfish lack a caudal peduncle (tail base) and the rear margins of the soft dorsal and anal fins are attached to the base of the outermost caudal-fin rays. The arm-like lobe of the pectoral fin is broadly attached to side of the body and all caudal-fin rays are divided.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Lophiocharon trisignatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 19 May 2024,

Spot-tail Anglerfish, Lophiocharon trisignatus (Richardson 1844)

More Info


Recorded in Australia from Shark Bay, WA, to Thursday Island, QLD. Inhabits rubble areas. Found elsewhere in the East-Indo-West Pacific.


Meristic features: Dorsal-fin spines/rays I+I+I, 12-13; Anal-fin rays 6 - 8.


Unlike most tropical anglerfishes which have pelagic eggs, the egg clusters of this species are attached by threads to the side of the male. The cluster may contain up to 650 large (3 mm) spherical eggs, each attached to the skin of the male by a thread-like loop. 

Species Citation

Chironectes trisignatus Richardson, 1844, Zool. Erebus Terror 2: 15, pl. 9, fig. 1. Type locality: Broome, WA (Neotype).


Dianne J. Bray

Spot-tail Anglerfish, Lophiocharon trisignatus (Richardson 1844)


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls.

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

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

Coleman, N. 1981. Australian Sea Fishes North of 30°S. Lane Cove, NSW : Doubleday Australia Pty Ltd 297 pp.

Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. and P.J. Kailola, 1984. Trawled fishes of southern Indonesia and northwestern Australia. Australian Development Assistance Bureau, Australia, Directorate General of Fishes, Indonesia, and German Agency for Technical Cooperation, Federal Republic of Germany. 407 p.

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

Pietsch, T.W. 2004. A New Species of the Anglerfish Genus Lophiocharon Whitley (Lophiiformes: Antennariidae) from Australian Waters. Records of the Australian Museum 56: 159-162.

Pietsch, T.W. & D.B. Grobecker. 1980. Parental care as an alternative reproductive mode in an antennariid anglerfish. Copeia 1980(3): 551-553.

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

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs.

Richardson, J. 1844. Ichthyology. 1-16 pls 1-6, 7-8 (parts), 9-10 in Richardson, J. & Gray, J.E. (eds). The Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Erebus and Terror under the command of Captain Sir James Clark Ross, R.N., F.R.S., during the years 1839–43. London : E.W. Janson Vol. 2 139 pp.

Whitley, G.P. 1933. Studies in Ichthyology No. 7. Records of the Australian Museum 19(1): 60-112 figs 1-4 pls 11-15.

Whitley, G.P. 1941. Ichthyological notes and illustrations. The Australian Zoologist 10(1): 1-50 figs 1-32 pls 1-2

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37210007

Biology:"Fishing lure" on head

Biology:Egg brooder

Depth:1-52 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:18 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map