Parasitic male Anglerfish, Linophrynidae

Parasitic male Anglerfish, Linophrynidae

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Credit: Dante Fenolio/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Anglerfish of the family Linophrynidae are sexually dimorphic. Females are the sex that most people would recognize as deep sea fish, with their glowing lures extending from the forehead. Males are small fish (usually about 2.5cm). Males don't have the big teeth or the glowing lures. They have a strong sense of smell and they spend the first part of their lives searching for a female. If they find one, they swim up, bite her, and hold on. In fact, the male holds on so long that the skin of the female grows over the front of his face and he ultimately becomes connected to her circulatory system. At that point he is fused to her body and entirely reliant on her for food and to dispose of cellular waste. He provides sperm to her through the circulatory system. Females can sometimes be found with more than one male attached to their bodies. This individual was trawled up from the Gulf of Mexico, 2015, from between 1,200 and 1,500 meters depth. Image courtesy of the DEEPEND project.

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Keywords: angler fish, anglerfish, animal, atached to female, attached, barbell, bathypelagic, bioluminescence, bioluminescent, deep sea fish, deepsea, esca, fauna, fish, gulf of mexico, illicium, large teeth, linophryne, linophrynidae, lure, marine, mesopelagic, modified fin ray, nekton, on female, parasitic male, pelagos, predator, predatory, reproductive strategy, rod, symbiotic bacteria, wildlife

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