all animal facts

Football Fish

Have you ever heard of a football fish? Native to the waters around Australia, this amazing creature is related to the anglerfish. Unlike its cousin, however, the football fish is not a bottom-dweller. Instead, it swims near the surface, using its luminous lure to attract prey. Read on to learn more about this fascinating creature!

Football Fish Description

The football fish is an unusual-looking creature with a long, pointed snout and a body that resembles a rounded football. Its coloration is mostly dark brown but can range from green to yellowish-brown. The dorsal fins are usually tipped in black or blue, while the ventral fins and tail fins have white fringes. The most distinctive feature of the football fish is its luminous lure. This fleshy growth protrudes from the top of its head and emits light to attract prey. The lure is made up of two parts: the illicium (an elongated spine) and the esca (the soft, glowing organ).

Football Fish Habitat

The football fish is found in temperate waters around Australia, particularly near the Great Barrier Reef. It inhabits shallow coastal areas and can be found up to depths of 40 m (130 ft). Football fish habitats can range from sandflats and seagrass beds to coral reefs and rocky outcrops. They are typically found in relatively shallow waters which provide cover, including caves, rock crevices, and ledges. In some cases, they may also be spotted swimming near the surface or hovering around drop-offs. The football fish is an opportunistic feeder and will take advantage of whatever food sources are available in its environment.

Football Fish Diet

The diet of the football fish mainly consists of other small fish and crustaceans. The football fish has been observed to feed on a variety of different species, including shrimp, crabs, squid, and small bony fish. In addition to their usual prey, the football fish may occasionally consume jellyfish, plankton, or algae as well. Scientists have discovered that some species of football fish will even scavenge for dead or dying animals as part of their diet.

Football Fish Size

The football fish grows to an average size of 20-25cm in length and can weigh up to 600g. The size of this species will vary between individuals and is largely dependent on their habitat, diet, age, and sex. This species has a relatively small mouth which limits the size of prey that it is able to consume. Despite its small size, the football fish is quite capable of taking down prey larger than itself by ambushing them with its powerful jaws.

Football Fish Lifespan

The lifespan of a football fish can vary depending on its environment, diet, and predation pressure. Generally speaking, these fish have an average lifespan of between 3-5 years. This species is known to be hardy and resilient, with some individuals living up to 10 years or more in captivity. The life cycle of the football fish consists of different stages; from its hatching as a larva to its transformation into an adult during adulthood. It takes around three months for the eggs to hatch and the larvae will grow rapidly over the next two years, reaching maturity by their third year. Once they reach adulthood, their growth rate slows down considerably and they will remain at this size for the remainder of their life.

Football Fish Behavior

The behavior of the football fish is unique among its family members, as it is a solitary species that rely on its own ability to hunt and feed itself. This means that they usually remain quite motionless, waiting for potential food sources to come within reach. When not actively hunting, these fish typically rest in depressions found in the sand or mud of their habitat. Football fish will also hide amongst rocks and other structures if they are feeling threatened by a predator. Football Fish are also known for their efficient metabolism which helps them survive during periods when food is scarce or unavailable. They have an enhanced capability to store energy reserves and slow down their heart rate during inactive periods, which aids them in surviving during times of hardship.

Football Fish Speed

The football fish is a fast-swimming species that can reach speeds of up to 10 miles per hour in short bursts. This gives them the capability to quickly chase down prey and escape from predators before being detected. However, this speed does come at a cost as the football fish has limited endurance capabilities which mean that they are unable to maintain these high speeds for long periods of time without becoming weary and fatigued. Despite this limitation, their quick reflexes and ability to quickly detect potential prey make them one of the most successful hunters among their family members.

Football Fish Hunting

The hunting tactics of the football fish are primarily centered around their use of an ambush-style approach that takes advantage of their quick reflexes and powerful jaws. This species relies heavily on its bioluminescent lure to attract potential prey before striking with lightning speed. The lure acts as a visual warning signal to any nearby predators while also providing an attractive target for smaller fish and other aquatic creatures in the area. Additionally, this species has keen eyesight which allows them to spot potential prey from far distances; although it should be noted that this vision is not very effective at night due to their lack of vision capabilities in darkness.


In conclusion, the football fish is a highly adapted species that utilizes both sight and smell while relying on its powerful jaws and efficient metabolism to survive even under harsh conditions or when faced with predators larger than themselves. Their ambush hunting tactics combined with their lightning-fast speed make them one of nature’s most formidable predators! All in all, it’s easy to see why this species has become so successful over time within its family group and is considered an expert hunter amongst its peers!

Frequently Asked Question


Yes, Football Fish are capable of glowing in the dark! This amazing ability is due to the presence of photophores, small organs that contain luminous bacteria which give off light.


The Football Fish gets its name from its large, flat head and body which resemble that of a football. This is due to the species’ compressed body shape which gives them maximum speed while swimming through the water. Their large pectoral fins also contribute to their resemblance of a football.


The Football Fish is widely distributed throughout the tropical and temperate waters of the world. It can be found in areas such as the western Atlantic Ocean, stretching from New England to Brazil, as well as in parts of the Mediterranean Sea, especially off the coasts of southern Spain and France. The species is also known to inhabit the South China Sea and in the Indian Ocean.


The scientific name for a Football Fish is Himantolophidae.


The Football Fish is a average size of 20-25cm in length and can weigh up to 600g However, some individuals have been recorded to reach up to 1 meter in length!
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