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Arctic Alligotorfish
Veteran Poucher
Hypsagonus quadricornis
Veteran Poucher


Poachers & Alligatorfishes

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Poachers are bottom-dwelling fishes related to sculpins and snailfishes, and members with them of the suborder Cottoidei of the order Scorpaeniformes. They have elongate bodies completely covered by rows of nonoverlapping bony plates, for which some species are called alligatorfishes. Most species have 2 dorsal fins, while a few have only 1.

Poachers mainly inhabit the North Pacific, but a few species live in the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans and 1 or 2 off South America. Only 3 species have broad distribution in the Arctic Ocean (alligatorfish, Aspidophoroides monopterygius; Arctic alligatorfish, A. olrikii; Atlantic poacher, Leptagonus decagonus); 7 others have more limited distributions in the Arctic, extending northward from primary centers of abundance in the North Pacific and North Atlantic. Poachers eat small crustaceans, worms, and molluscs. Sensory barbels around the mouth help poachers locate food.

Page Author: Kitty & Tony Mecklenburg
Updated: Feb 20, 2009

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