Artedidraco skottsbergi

Common Name

Skottsberg's Plunderfish

Year Described

Lönnberg, 1905


Dorsal Fin: II-IV, 24-28
Anal Fin: 17-21
Pectoral Fin: 14-17
Pelvic Fin: I, 5
Caudal Fin: 8-11 (branched rays)
Gill Rakers: 14-21 (total in first arch)
Branchiostegal rays: 5
Upper Lateral Line Scales: 2-6 (tubular) + 1-16 (disc-shaped)
Middle Lateral Line Scale: 11-26 (disc-shaped)
Vertebrae: 36-39

Body elongate, flattened ventrally, with a large head (not much wider than deep). Post-temporal ridges weak. Eyes large. Snout shorter than orbit. Interorbital narrow. Two dorsal fins: one a small spiny fin over pectoral base and the other a long-based fin consisting of rays. Second dorsal fairly low. Anal fin short in height with origin well behind dorsal origin. Pectoral fin large and fan-shaped (73.6-87.9% in HL). Pelvic fin jugular and fairly long. Caudal fin rounded. Mouth reaching middle or orbit; protractile. Jaws with small teeth. No teeth on vomer or palate. Upper opercular edge with a pointed, hook-like projection. Caudal peduncle depth 22.9-30.2% in HL. Body naked. Two lateral lines: one on the upper body ending under the anterior dorsal fin and the other on the lateral midline on the rear body and caudal peduncle. Mental barbel very small, simple or papillose (7-11 in HL).


Body pale yellowish basally with variably sized dark brown blotches, becoming smaller dorsally. Head with numerous small spots dorsally and 2 brown bands under eye and one on opercular flap. Spiny dorsal with dark markings. Soft dorsal fin with 6-8 blotches on base and oblique lines on rest of fin formed from dark spots on the finrays (darkest posteriorly). Anal fin pale with dark spots posterioly forming oblique lines. Pectoral fin with 5-7 bands. Pelvic fin pale. Caudal fin with 8 vertical bands and edges spotted. Barbel light.


Maximum size to 10.6cm TL.


Inshore and continental shelf from 5-666m. Bottom dwelling. Feeds mostly on worms and tiny crustaceans.


Circum-Antarctic: extends northward to around the southern sub-Antarctic islands of S. Shetland and S. Orkney.


Eakin, R.R. 1990. Artedidraconidae. p. 332-356. In O. Gon and P.C. Heemstra (eds.) Fishes of the Southern Ocean. J.L.B. Smith Institute of Ichthyology, Grahamstown, South Africa.

Other Notes

A similar species from coastal Antarctica, Artedidraco loennbergi, is distinguished by a narrower caudal peduncle (19.4-23.2% in HL) and a smaller pectoral fin (60.7-71.8% in HL). It has been taken off the western Antarctic Peninsula and could be expected in the Atlantic sector of the sub-Antarctic, especially off the northern A. Peninsula and the S. Shetland Is.