Agonopsis chiloensis

Common Name

Patagonian Poacher

Year Described

Jenyns, 1840


Dorsal Fin: VII-VIII, 7
Anal Fin: 7-8
Pectoral Fin: 14-15
Pelvic Fin: I, 2
Caudal Fin: 10-12 (principle)
Branchiostegal Rays: 5-6

Body very elongate and tapering posteriorly, with a flattened ventral profile. Body and head covered with armored plates. Eyes large. Several rows of bony nodules on the body (4 on each side). Head expanded laterally and flattened, with numerous bony spikes facing rearward. Snout protruding with many knobs on the nose and cheek. Fleshy cirri often present on lower head and mouth area. Mouth subterminal. Anal fin origin in between first and second dorsal fin. Pectoral fins large. Caudal fin small and rounded.


Light brown basally with 5 thicker dark brown bands/saddles starting behind head and several thinner partial bands or blotches in between the main bands. Head dark brown with paler underside. A dark eye-stripe often present. Pectoral fins with a narrow basal band and a thick subterminal band. Caudal fin dark with a white border,


Maximum size to 12.5cm SL.


Coastal to moderately deep continental shelf waters from 3-400m.


Southwestern Atlantic: Argentina to S. Chile. Also the SE Pacific.


Froese, R. & D. Pauly. Editors. 2012. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication:, version (06/2012).

Shieko, B.A. & C.W. Mecklenburg. 2004. Family Agonidae (Swainson, 1839): poachers. Annotated Checklist of Fishes, No.30. California Academy of Sciences.

Other Notes

Some consider Agonopsis asperoculis to be the correct name for the poacher in the SW Atlantic, while others label both Atlantic and Pacific populations as A. chiloensis. Study of Atlantic material shows some differences, but the problem is unresolved (Shieko & Mecklenburg, 2004).