Latin name

Anarhichas denticulatus

Other names

Blue sea cat, jelly cat


The body is elongated, but taller than other anarhichids, tapering to a tail stalk covered with fine cycloid scales. The head is massive, with a rounded snout. Sharp teeth are arranged in several rows on the jaws and palate. There are 78-82 vertebrae. Two lateral lines extending to the beginning of the anal fin. 

Features of fish fins

Long dorsal fin with 76-81 soft, unbranched rays. Anal fin with 46-50 soft rays, 2 times shorter than dorsal fin. Caudal fin rounded or truncate, not continuous with dorsal and anal fins. Pectoral fins small with 19-22 rays and rounded edges. No pelvic fins. 

Fish colouring

It has an almost monochromatic colouration: with barely visible blurred patches on the back, sides or none at all. The scales have an unusual bluish tinge. The colour varies between individuals from blue-grey to blue or even brown-coffee. In winter the colour is slightly duller than in summer. All this gives this marine predator excellent camouflage.


Widespread in the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. They are found in the North, Norwegian and Barents Seas; in waters around Greenland, Svalbard, Labrador, Newfoundland, Novaya Zemlya; off the coast of Nova Scotia and Sable Island.


Marine benthopelagic fishes. They live both in the water column and on the bottom at depths of up to 1700m; common at depths of 100-900m.


The maximum length is 180 cm and the mass is 20 kg.


Can bend hard, like an eel or newt. Leads a solitary life, never congregates in packs. Can live up to 20 years.

Food and feeding habits

The basic diet consists of ctenophores, jellyfish, echinoderms, clams, crustaceans and fish.


They reach sexual maturity at the age of 5 years with a body length of 80 cm. They spawn from April to October. Fecundity is 23.5-28.4 thousand eggs. The eggs are large, 6-7 mm in diameter. The clutch is guarded by the male.


There is no dedicated fishery for wolffish.

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Scorpaeniformes
Family Anarhichadidae
Genus Anarhichas
Species A. denticulatus
Conservation status Endangered
Habitat Pelagic
Life span, years 20
Maximum body weight, kg 20
Maximum length, cm 180
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Predator

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Northern wolffish

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