Anarhichas denticulatus

Common Name

Northern Wolffish

Year Described

Krøyer, 1845


Dorsal Fin: 76-81 (spines)
Anal Fin: 45-47
Pectoral Fin:
Caudal Fin: 18-22
Vertebrae: 78-82

Body elongate, soft-bodied, and very robust, with a large head. Body deeper than in other wolffishes. Jaws with large canine teeth forward, becoming more blunt rearward. Teeth on vomer do not reach beyond palatine teeth. Dorsal fin runs from rear of head to the caudal fin. Anal fin long. Caudal fin small and rounded. Pelvic fin absent. Pectoral fin large and fan-like.


Body color varies from dark gray, brown, yellow-brown, to bluish-gray. Dark spots surrounded by paler pigment are sometimes present on the body but not on the head. Many populations are uniformly unmarked or have diffuse paler or darker chain-like markings. Fins are dark.


Maximum size to 180cm TL.


Offshore continental from 60-1700m. Bottom dwelling.


Greenland to Nova Scotia.


Barsukov, V.V. 1986. Anarhichadidae. p. 1113-1116. In: P.J.P. Whitehead, M.-L. Bauchot, J.-C. Hureau, J. Nielsen and E. Tortonese (eds.). Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. volume 3. UNESCO, Paris.

Richards, W.J. (Ed.). 2005. Early Stages of Atlantic Fishes: An Identification Guide for the Western Central North Atlantic. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida.

Templeman, W. 1986. Spotted Forms of the Northern Wolffish (Anarhichas denticulatus). Journal of Northwest Atlantic Fishery Science. Vol. 7: 77-80.