Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 17:24 EDT

Humpback Anglerfish, Melanocetus johnsonii

The Humpback Anglerfish (Melanocetus johnsonii), or common black devil, is a deep-sea anglerfish belonging to the family Melanocetidae, found in tropical to temperate portions of all oceans at depths of up to 6,600 feet.

Male humpback angler fish are much smaller in size compared to the females, being no more than 3 centimeters long, whereas the female usually achieves a length of 7 inches long. Humpback angler fish remain free swimming into adulthood, which isn’t the case with other deep sea anglerfish: with these, the males swim freely when they are young, but before achieving adulthood the male with fix itself permanently to the rear of the female’s body, living thereafter as a parasite of the female. A male’s internal organs now atrophy as the fish shares the female’s blood and becomes simply a provider of sperm as required. The eggs of this species are presumably contained in floating gelatinous rafts.

The females have a short body with a large mouth. The skin is covered with tiny closely set dermal spinules.

This fish has the capability of catching and swallowing prey larger than itself.

Image Caption: Humpback Anglerfish (Melanocetus Johnsonii) brought to the surface alive by the CAT 2 science team. Credit: Javontaevious/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Humpback Anglerfish Melanocetus johnsonii