Lasiognathus dinema: New Northern Gulf of Mexico Anglerfish Species

by DerdriuMarriner

Lasiognathus dinema is a northern Gulf of Mexico anglerfish species found by Drs. Theodore Pietsch and Tracey Sutton in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Lasiognathus dinema lives where the sun doesn’t shine

Fish attract attention as candidates for:

• garden water features;
• objects of scientific research;
• occupants of private and public aquaria;
• options for outdoor activities;
• sources of nutritious food.

Scientific relevancy becomes far more dominant than adornment, entertainment, nutrition, and recreation whenever a fish models unanticipated behavior, navigates uncommon niches, and offers unexpected features. Unabashed, unaccustomed, unfamiliar, unorthodox, untypical, and unusual definitely count as appropriate descriptions of the anglerfish in general and the Gulf of Mexico’s northerly species in particular. Like the other five species in the genus, the northwest Caribbean Sea anglerfish Lasiognatus dinema (hairy jaw, two threads) does not get rave reviews for good looks or taste.

Sustainable breeding and feeding instead explain Mexican Gulf anglerfish significance.




Lasiognathus dinema is the third anglerfish in the Lasiognathus genus, currently comprising 6 species, discovered by conscientious ichthyologist Theodore W. Pietsch:

Professor Pietsch discovered his 2nd Lasiognathus anglerfish, Lasiognathus amphirhamphus, in the eastern North Atlantic off Madeira in 2005.
Lasiognathus amphirhamphus
Lasiognathus amphirhamphus

Lasiognathus dinema moves a one-of-a-kind bait-like, pole-like head-bump


Marine biologists find it useful to attribute three aquatic layers to oceans and seas:

  • benthic zone of sedimentary floors and sub-surfaces;
  • demersal zone of waters near the water body’s floor;
  • pelagic zone of waters upward from the near-bottom.

The uppermost layer gets called open ocean because of its original Greek origins in πέλαγος (pélagos, open sea). Depending upon depth, it has the potential of including such sub-layers as:

  • sunlight to 660 feet (201.17 meters) down from the topmost waters;
  • twilight to 3,300 feet (1,005.84 meters) down;
  • midnight to 13,000 feet (3,962.4 meters) down;
  • lower midnight to hadal trenches.

The midnight zone more formally is called the bathyal or deep-sea zone, from the Greek word βαθύς (bathýs, deep). 


Lasiognathus dinema needs teeth to breed and feed


This newly discovered, officially taxonomized anglerfish joins marine denizens 3,280 to 4,921 feet (999.74 to 1,499.92 meters) down from northwest Caribbean uppermost waters. There, the north Mexican Gulf species keeps an orange-colored presence. There, ceratioid (from the Greek word κέρας [kéras, horn]) anglerfish lead sustainable life cycles and natural histories:

  • attracting prey through bait-like, bioluminescent (glow-in-the-dark), fishing pole-like lures from heads accounting for 65%+ of total body length;
  • feeding upon bony fishes, invertebrates, and marine snow (detritus) through super-mouths filled with super-spiked teeth and surrounded by super-whiskery barbels;
  • reproducing after far smaller-sized males chew through their future mate’s sides to become progressively parasites, protrusions, and reproductive organs ready for generating offspring according to hostess motives and opportunities.


Startling female-male anglerfish relationship entails parasitism of larger female by smaller male ~

"Female Angler Fish with Parasitic Male": 1999, flameworked glass by Tim Jerman (June 25th, 1957 - June 6th, 2004 )
Luce Foundation Center for American Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC
Luce Foundation Center for American Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC

Lasiognathus dinema offers deep-sea, high-pressure, low-temperature, oxygen-poor survivalism


Academic collections and publications make known the species-defining type specimens, thanks to fortuitous discoveries and savvy identifications of three females by:

  • Dr. Theodore W. Pietsch, University of Washington;
  • Dr. Tracey T. Sutton, Nova Southeastern University.

For example, the three specimens bio-geographically need 2,200 pounds (997.90 kilograms) -- not Earthling-accustomed 15 pounds (6.80 kilograms) -- per square inch of pressure against exteriors measuring from 1.2 to 3.7 inches (30.48 to 93.98 millimeters) long in cold, dark, extreme ecosystems. Their new home in the University of Washington’s world-largest deep-sea Ichthyology Collection offers them ample exposure to in-depth, up-front investigation by Dr. Pietsch, discoverer of:

  • the northeast Atlantic’s Lasiognathus amphirhamphus;
  • the northwest Atlantic’s and southeast Atlantic’s and Pacific’s Lasiognathus intermedius


Lasiognathus dinema – new species of anglerfish

Published on YouTube on August 5, 2015 by SciNews ~ URL:



My special thanks to:

  • Talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the Internet;
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for superior on-campus and on-line resources.


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Sources Consulted


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Behrens, Tom. 6 August 2015. “Lasiognathus Dinema – What?” Texas Fish & Game Publishing. Retrieved August 2015.

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Bellotto, Adam. 6 August 2015. “Scary Looking Fish: Deep Sea Anglerfish Species Discovered Lurking in the Gulf of Mexico.”  Starpulse > News. Retrieved August 2015.

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Bradley, Gloria. 6 August 2015. “New Fish Species Discovered in the Northern Gulf of Mexico.” NYC Today. Retrieved August 2015.

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Brown, Amy. 6 August 2015. “Scary-looking Deep-sea Fish: New Scary Looking Deep-sea Fish Discovered by Scientists.” The Cubic Lane > Technology & Science. Retrieved August 2015.

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Brumfield, Ben. 6 August 2015. “New Scary-looking Fish Species Comes from the Ocean’s Dark Depths.” Cable News Network, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc . Retrieved August 2015.

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Carley, Lauren; Ellington, Jessie; and Turvey, Michael. 2010. “Ceratioid Anglerfish Mating: Sexual Dimorphism and Parasitism.” Reed College > Biology Department. Retrieved August 2015.

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“Ceratioid Anglerfish: Bizarre New Species Found in Gulf of Mexico.” SportSmasher > Standard Nonsense > 6 August 2015. Retrieved August 2015.

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Cordeiro, Monivette. 6 August 2015. “Florida Researcher Helps Discover New Bizarre Species of Angler Fish.”  Orlando Weekly > Bloggytown. Retrieved August 2015.

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Donzelli, Joe. 5 August 2015. “Nova Southeastern University Researcher Discovers a New Deep-sea Fish Species: New Anglerfish Discovered During Ongoing Research in the Gulf of Mexico.” Nova Southeastern University > NSU News Room. Retrieved August 2015.

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Pietsch, Theodore. “Lasiognathus regan (Image) Nova Southeastern University.” Eurekalert! > Multimedia. Retrieved August 2015.

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Pietsch, Theodore W. 2009. Oceanic Anglerfishes: Extraordinary Diversity in the Deep-sea. Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A.: University of California Press. 

Pietsch, Theodore W.; and Sutton, Tracey T. July 2015. “A New Species of the Ceratioid Anglerfish Genus Lasiognathus Regan (Lophiiformes: Oneirodidae) from the Northern Gulf of Mexico.” Copeia Published by The American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists 103(2):429-432.

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Professor Pietsch co-discovered Lasiognathus dinema with Tracey Sutton, Associate Professor at Fort Lauderdale's Nova Southeastern University, during 2011 survey of Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill's impact on section of northern Gulf of Mexico:

Sunlight illuminates lingering oil slick off Mississippi Delta on May 24, 2010, four days after explosion on April 20th on Deepwater Horizon offshore oil platform about 50 miles southeast of Mississippi River delta (28.74°N, 88.39°W).
"NASA's Terra Satellites Sees Spill on May 24": NASA's Terra Satellite image + Locator Map by FT2
"NASA's Terra Satellites Sees Spill on May 24": NASA's Terra Satellite image + Locator Map by FT2
the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

Oceanic Anglerfishes: Extraordinary Diversity in the Deep Sea by Theodore W. Pietsch ~ Available now via Amazon

Theodore W. Pietsch writings

Haiku Series: Anglerfish By: Andrew Fitzpatrick ~ Available as Giclée Print or as Photographic Print ~ Available via AllPosters

Haiku: Some fish live so deep in the ocean where it's dark they grow their own light.
Haiku Series: Anglerfish

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The Angler fish is a black cozy ring spun cotton tank top designed by proboots for Design By Humans ~ Also available as Men's Crew Sweatshirt, Graphic Tank Top, Pullover Hoodie, Zip Hoodie!
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Me and my purrfectly purrfect Maine coon kittycat, Augusta "Gusty" Sunshine

Gusty and I thank you for reading this article and hope that our product selection interests you; Gusty Gus receives favorite treats from my commissions.
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
Updated: 08/08/2015, DerdriuMarriner
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


DerdriuMarriner on 09/09/2015

CruiseReady, If you ever do encounter this fish while you're snorkeling, you'll know that you aren't imagining things and you'll know what it is!
It's an incredible bit of ecological and paleontological luck to be funded to study the horrors of oil spills and to find a new species.

CruiseReady on 09/09/2015

That is one ugly fish, and unlike anything I've seen in my snorkeling adventures. Guess I'm not likely ever to do so, given that they wouldn't come near the surface. Interesting about how the discovery took place.

DerdriuMarriner on 08/11/2015

blackspanielgallery, Yes, they certainly are. In this case, the environment makes me imagine what a fish could look like if water flows on Mars.

blackspanielgallery on 08/10/2015

Strange creatures are always interesting.

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