Black Seadevil Anglerfish Caught on Camera, The female anglerfish, which appeared in the animated film Finding Nemo, has a distinctive illuminated rod hanging from its head.
Researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) spotted the fish at a depth of 600m.
The footage taken this month clearly showcases the 9cm-long creature’s strange physique, including her bulbous head, glass-like eyes, and curious illicium – the light-bulb-like growth from her head which she uses to attract prey.
The video is narrated by MBARI Senior Scientist Bruce Robison. He tells viewers: “Anglers have a remarkable apparatus on their heads: a fishing pole, with a luminous lure at the tip, which they use to attract their prey. In the darkness of deep water, they flash the light to attract prey and draw them near the angler’s mouth.
“When a fish or a squid swims up, it is quickly inhaled by the angler’s huge mouth and trapped by its long, sharp teeth.”
He adds that the male Black Seadevil Anglerfish are smaller, and don’t have a “fishing pole” attachment – rendering them “ill-equipped for feeding”.
“Their sole responsibility appears to be to find a female and mate with her as soon as possible,“ Robison explains.
He told the Santa Cruz Sentinel: “We’ve been diving out here in the Monterey Canyon regularly for 25 years, and we’ve seen three.”
Black Seadevil, a species of anglerfish, are found in tropical to temperate waters of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans.
Scientists and researchers know little of the rare creature, other than its life span and how it reproduces.
Robinson told US broadcaster KSBW that when a male anglerfish finds a mate, he bites her and their tissues fuse together.
“The male’s body degenerates until it’s a lump of tissue surrounding testicles” and the female then carries the male with her for the rest of her life, and continues to collect mates, he added.
He told the station he’s seen 11 males attached to a single female.
“The deep sea is filled with surprises and wonderful creatures,” Robison concludes in the video, adding: “Humans have only just begun to explore this vast realm, and we can only imagine what discoveries are yet to be made.”