Lophiidae is a family of fishes in the order Lophiiformes. The body is flattened, bare or covered with bony tubercles and spines. The mouth is large and armed with strong teeth. The pelvic fins are attached to the throat. The anterior ray of the dorsal fin is transformed into a rod. Females are always larger than males. Marine, bottom dwelling, predatory fish. Body length up to 1.5 m (anglerfish).
The head and trunk are moderately to severely flattened. There are bony spikes or ridges on the top of the head. They have an extremely wide mouth. The upper jaw can be extended and the lower jaw is protruding. At the front of the head there are usually 3 rays, one of which has a leathery thickening used to lure prey, the illichium. Behind the head there are 1 to 3 barb rays, sometimes hidden under the skin or absent. The dorsal fin is soft and shifted towards the tail, the anal fin is shifted backwards. The pelvic fins are on the throat. The pectoral fins are supported by 2-3 skeletal elements, of which the lower one is greatly enlarged, usually extended at the end, and can make rotational movements. This allows the pectoral fins to be used for crawling on the ground, as if bent at the elbow.
The family contains 4 genera and about 25 species that live on the bottom, often at great depths, in tropical and temperate waters of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans.