Latin name

Anarhichas orientalis

Other names

Anarhichas orientalis


The body is elongated, somewhat compressed at the sides, and covered with cycloid scales. The Bering Sea wolffish differs from the Atlantic representatives of the genus Anarhichas by the large number of vertebrae (86-88) and rays in the anal fin. The teeth are tubercular and very strong. It has four pairs of strong canines on the anterior parts of both jaws and molars on the upper and palatal bones and the posterior part of the lower jaw. 

Features of fish fins

The dorsal fin is very long and reaches to the base of the caudal fin. The anal fin is also long. The caudal fin is rounded and does not merge with the dorsal and anal fins. Pelvic fins are absent. Dorsal rays (total): 83-88; Anal rays: 0; Anal soft rays: 53-54.  

Fish colouring

The coloration of adults is dark and monochromatic, while juveniles have dark stripes running along the body. As the fish grows, these stripes break up into spots that gradually disappear. 


North Pacific: Hokkaido, Japan and the Sea of Okhotsk to the Bering Sea. Arctic Canada.


Marine benthic species. Depth range 0 to 100 m, usually 10 to 70 m. Prefers temperate climates. Adheres to rocky substrates, often visiting rocky reefs, shelves covered with algae growing just offshore. 


The maximum body length is 112 cm.


It is believed to come to the shore from the depths, but no trawl has ever caught it. It is nocturnal and is mostly caught at night. However, its behavior during the long summer days, which are quite long at such latitudes of its habitat, remains unknown.

Food and feeding habits

It feeds on mollusks, echinoderms, crustaceans and fish. The adult can crush very thick shells with its jaws.


Eggs are large and hatch in summer. The fry are pelagic.


In the Sea of Okhotsk it is caught with seines or nets. Off the coast of Alaska it is caught on hooks.

Relationship with a person

This species is of no economic importance.

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Scorpaeniformes
Family Anarhichadidae
Genus Anarhichas
Species A. orientalis
Conservation status No information
Habitat Bottom
Life span, years No information
Maximum body weight, kg No information
Maximum length, cm 112
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Bentophage

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Bering wolffish

Tags: bering wolffish