Bob Ritchie Identifies Curious Fish as Shortspine Boarfish

Joey,  I believe the Mystery Fish is a Shortspine Boarfish  (Antigonia combatia);  "body shape varies from ovate to roughly diamond-shaped.   Head and body reddish pink above, becoming silvery below.  9 spines in  first dorsal fin, 26-30 soft rays in 2nd dorsal fin;  23-28 soft rays in anal fin.  Size: up to 5 in.  Range:   NJ and south to Brazil, at  depth 400-2000 ft., generally on or near bottom on the deeper continental shelf and the upper slope, especially near ledges and rocky outcroppings."    Source: C. Richard Robins, A Field Guide to Atlantic Coast Fishes of North America, Houghton Mifflin 1986.   Available at Dogtown Book Shop (books, used and unusual)  $8.00
Bob Ritchie
Dogtown Book Shop

Bob’s email was in reference to this curious fish that Tony Gross brought up in his trap last week.

Click the picture to view larger-


Tony brought it down the dock for me to photograph and all our lobstermen passed it around the office (there was probably 500 years of lobstering experience in the office at the time) and not one of our lobstermen had caught one in their traps before.  Tony caught this one just off of Lanesville. Rare indeed.

Available today at Dogtown Book shop


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