What's Happening at Discovery Diving
Get all the latest info from our Instructors and Staff on our SCUBA Classes, Charters, Equipment and Special Events.
Football Fish, Himantolophus sagamius
Cabrillo Marine Museum Chief Aquarist Lloyd Ellis knew he had a neat surprise coming when on January 3, 1990 San Pedro fisherman Greg Boy brought in a black five-gallon bucket and said "there's a strange fish frozen solid in this bucket." Lloyd knew that if a fisherman found the fish strange, it had to truly be strange. Over the next two days, as the ice in the bucket melted, it revealed a beautiful specimen of a football fish (Himantolophus sagamius). After searching the literature, staff found that this was the tenth and largest specimen ever recorded for the species.
Circumglobal in the southern hemisphere except eastern Pacific (Ref. 7300). Range extended to the Falkland Is. (Ref. 80772) and probably a first record in the Philippines.
Max length : 40.0 cm TL male/unsexed
Dorsal soft rays (total): 5; Anal soft rays: 4. This species is distinguished in having the illicium with a bulbous distal light organ, originating from behind the tip of the snout; external second cephalic ray absent; esca without bony denticles; posterior appendage present, bifurcated at the base and each primary branch had a side branch near the base; distal appendage absent (Ref. 80772). Metamorphosed females characterized further by having a series of 2-7 filaments emerging from the anterior margin of the 2 primary branches of paired posterior escal appendage; posterolateral appendages simple or bifurcated at tip, longest is less than 10% SL in specimens less than 10 cm; presence of small dermal spinules on stem of illicium, escal bulb and escal appendages in specimens greater than 3 cm; low and indistinct papillae of snout and chin; skin devoid of white patches; caudal fin rays white or faintly pigmented in specimens less than 10 cm. Adult males with 11-13 olfactory lamellae; diameter of posterior nostril 5.7-6.7% SL, length of snout 17-18% SL; presence of about 20-25 upper denticular teeth and 22-32 lower denticular teeth (Ref. 86949).