Leptagonus decagonus

Common Name

Atlantic Poacher

Year Described

Bloch & Schneider, 1801


Dorsal Fin: V-VIII, 5-8
Anal Fin: 6-8
Pectoral Fin: 15-17
Pelvic Fin: I, 2
Caudal Fin: 11 (principle)
Branchiostegal Rays: 5-6
Vertebrae: 44-49

Body very elongate and tapering posteriorly (deepest at pectoral fin), with a flattened head. Body and head covered with armored plates. Eyes large. Several rows of bony spines on the body (4 rows correspond to bony plates). Head expanded laterally and flattened, with numerous low bony ridges and spines. Snout protruding with several spines. Many fleshy filaments extend from ventral part of head. Mouth subterminal; reaches anterior margin of eye. There are two dorsal fins. Anal fin origin between two dorsal fins. Pectoral fins large, reaching posterior edge of first dorsal fin. Caudal fin long and rounded.


Brown above and abruptly paler on the ventral half of body. There is variable darker brown mottling on the upper head and body. Several dark blotches or irregular saddles on the body. A dark stripe passes through eye. Fins with spot-bands of dark brown.


Maximum size to 21cm SL.


Benthic in cold waters (27-392m), on soft bottoms.


Northwestern Atlantic: Greenland to eastern Canada (Grand Banks).


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

Fahay, M.P. 2005. Agonidae. In M.P. Fahay, Early stages of fishes in the western North Atlantic Ocean, Vol II, p. 982-986. Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, 1696 p.