Latin name

Centrophryne spinulosa

Other names

Prickly seadevil 


Metamorphosed females: with a single oval ovary; supraethamoid; forelimbs narrowly separated by cartilage along the dorsal midline, each without ventromedial extension; parietal, pterosphenoid, metapterygoid and mesopterygoid rami; absence of cuneiform spines; hyoid mandible with double head; 2 hyoid and 6 (2+4) gill rays; bifurcated peduncle; dorsal fork short and less than 50% the length of the ventral fork; long and thin submandibular bone with thin tapering upper end; well-developed spur on anterior edge of lower end of submandibular bone; quadrate and articular spurs present but insignificant; angular and tarsal spurs absent; mandibles oriented anteriorly, mandible with well-developed symphyseal process; posterior maxillary process of premandibular bone absent; long and well-developed anterior maxillomandibular ligament; first pharyngeal-gill ligament present and serving as a suspension; second and third pharyngeal-gill ligaments well developed with teeth; fourth pharyngeal-gill ligament absent; first, second and third mandibular processes well ossified, only basibranchial process ossified; first supraventricular process and all four ceratobranchial processes with denticles; epural processes absent; hypural plate with deep serrations posteriorly; pterygiophore of illicium contains a small ossified remnant of second cephalic outgrowth; escalum bulb contains a central lumen with escalum pores opening outwards; dentary of esca lacking denticles; posterior abdominal outgrowth of beak-like process absent; four thoracic radials present, fusing into 3 in specimens over 150 mm long; pelvic bones slightly expanded distally; caudal rays 9 (2 simple+4 forked+3 simple); numerous closely spaced skin spines covering skin; pyloric cecum absent. 

Males: short hyoid antenna behind symphysis of mandible; small eyes, each without aphakic interval; relatively large olfactory organs; upper dentary plate triangular with transverse row of 3 well-developed hooked denticles; lower dentary plate sickle-shaped with transverse row of 4 strong, symmetrically arranged denticles, fused at base, skin glabrous, skin spines absent. 

Larvae: short and deep, with moderately swollen skin; short, finger-like hyoid whiskers; pectoral fins of medium size, not reaching the base of the dorsal and anal fins; pelvic fins absent.

Features of fish fins

Dorsal soft rays (total): 6-7; anal soft rays: 5-6. 

Fish colouring

Females are reddish brown or black. Males are dark brown.


Found in the Pacific Ocean from Baja California south to the Marquesas Islands and the Gulf of California. Specimens have also been found elsewhere, including New Guinea, the South China Sea, Venezuela and the Mozambique Strait, suggesting a wide oceanic distribution in tropical and subtropical waters. 


A marine, bathypelagic, deep-water species. Adults inhabit depths from 650 to over 2000 m (2130-6560 ft), while larvae remain close to the surface at 35 m (115 ft).


Females reach a length of 23 centimetres (9.1 inches). Males are much smaller, reaching 1.6 cm (0.63 inches) in length.


The area where these fish live is known as the abyssopelagic zone. It is characterised by a lack of sunlight. It is quite cold and the hydrostatic pressure is extremely high. In the absence of nutrients, the fish have developed a number of adaptations. Due to the extreme conditions, it is almost impossible for humans to reach this area to study their behaviour.

Food and feeding habits

Completely carnivorous. They feed on small fish in the same environment. They are experts in the world of hunting. They use a special appendage to attract their prey. When the prey approaches, they open their huge jaws to devour it completely.

Their elastic mouth allows them to swallow prey twice their size. These fish also have an expanding stomach.


Unlike other deep-sea anglerfish, females of horned lanternfish have only one ovary, which is lined with villous epithelial projections rather than folds. Males are sexually parasitic. A female with an attached male parasite, Melanocetus johnsonii, has been observed, although the mating was probably accidental (possibly when two fish were in the net) and tissue fusion did not occur.


One of the most common types of fishing is lure fishing. Another type of fishing is spearfishing. Some fishermen use nets.

Relationship with a person

The flesh of this fish is dense, white, free of small bones and can be cooked in any way you like. It is particularly popular in restaurants in Italy, Japan and China.

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Lophiiformes
Family Centrophrynidae
Genus Centrophryne
Species C. spinulosa
Conservation status Least Concern
Habitat Pelagic
Life span, years No information
Maximum body weight, kg No information
Maximum length, cm 23
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Predator

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Horned lantern fish

Tags: horned lantern fish