Monday, July 4, 2011


The wolffish lacks pelvic fins, and the dorsal fin, which begins just behind the head, extends to the caudal fin but is not joined to it.

Eel-like in body shape, wolffish are blenny relatives that live in the cold to arctic waters of the Atlantic and the Pacific. They are parts of the Anarhichadidae family, which incorporates seven species. The Atlantic wolffish (Anarhichas lupus) inhabits the western Atlantic from southern Labrador and western Greenland to Cape Cod, rarely occurring as far south as New Jersey. 

The sides of its caramel-dull to purplish figure are crossed by as many as a dozen vertical black bars. It is sedentary and rather solitary and is commonly found at depths of 45 to 65 fathoms.

WolffishIndividuals can attain a length of 5 feet and a weight of 40 pounds. They prey on mollusks, crabs, lobsters, and sea urchins. The Atlantic wolffish is seldom caught by anglers and is usually taken commercially by otter trawls. It is overexploited and depleted in the western Atlantic. The wolf-eel (Anarrichthys ocellatus) has a similar range; it reaches a length of 61/2 feet. These species are also caught by commercial trawlers.


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