Anglerfish are a bony fish found in the most of the world's oceans either in deep abyssal waters or on the continental shelf. They are characterized by a large mouth and a modified extended spine on the forehead with a long fleshy filament terminating in an irregular growth (known as an esca). The spine and filament resemble a fishing rod which the anglerfish uses to lure prey close to its mouth. The anglerfish wiggles the lure (esca) to attract small fish or shrimps closer to its large mouth and an automatic reflex sucks the prey into its massive mouth when the tentacle is touched. In some deep-sea varieties the end of the esca may be bioluminescent.
Varieties of the genus Lophius, known as monkfish or goosefish, are known for their fine eating properties.