Ceratioid Anglerfish Mating: Sexual Dimorphism and Parasitism

Within anglerfish (Lophiiformes), the Ceratioid subgroup is distinct for several reasons: they have bioluminescent lures to attract prey, exhibit extreme sexual dimorphism, and, perhaps most interstingly, exhibit sexual unique mating strategies in which the male becomes a parasite, completely dependent upon the female for survival. In some species, this parasitism is obligate; i.e., reproduction cannot take place if the parasitic relationship is not established.

The purpose of this website is to describe anglerfish mating parasitism in the light of Tinbergen's "Four Questions:" Mechanism, Ontogeny, Phylogeny, and Adaptive Value. Click on a link to the left to begin learning. (Figure adapted from http://academic. /2008_by_week/week2.html)

Lauren Carley, Jessie Ellington, Michael Turvey. 2010.