Pogonophryne barsukovi

Common Name

Barsukov's Plunderfish

Year Described

Andriashev, 1967


Dorsal Fin: II, 26-28
Anal Fin: 17-19
Pectoral Fin: 19-21
Pelvic Fin: I, 5
Caudal Fin: 8-11 (branched rays)
Gill Rakers: 14-17 (total in first arch)
Branchiostegal rays: 5
Upper Lateral Line Scales: 20-27 (tubular anteriorly, disc-shaped posteriorly)
Middle Lateral Line Scale: 9-18 (disc-shaped anteriorly and tube-shaped posteriorly)
Vertebrae: 38

A “barsukovi group” plunderfish. Body elongate, flattened ventrally, with a large and wide head. Post-temporal ridges not developed. Eyes large. Snout abruptly sloped; length equal to orbit. Interorbital wide. Two dorsal fins: one a very small spiny fin over opercle and the other a long-based fin consisting of rays. Second dorsal varies from quite high in females to very high in males. Anal fin short in height with origin well behind dorsal origin. Pectoral fin large and fan-shaped. Pelvic fin jugular, rounded and fairly short. Caudal fin truncate to slightly 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. Body naked. Two lateral lines: one on the upper body ending under the posterior dorsal fin and the other on the lateral midline on the rear body and caudal peduncle. Mental barbel very short (5.2-12.0 in HL) with either a simple pointed tip or a slightly expanded tip with papillae or short extensions.


Body pale with numerous dark irregular blotches over head and body, becoming smallest on top of head and dorsal surface of body. Belly sparsely dotted or unmarked. Spiny dorsal fin with light or dark pigment. Soft dorsal fin with oblique dark stripes on a lighter background. Males with a black anterior dorsal lobe. Anal and pelvic fins with dark bases. Pectoral fins with spots on finrays forming several dark bands on fin, pale distally. Caudal fin with 6-10 vertical bands and a pale margin. Barbel pale.


Maximum size to 25cm TL.


Continental shelf from 220-1120m. Bottom dwelling.


Circum-Antarctic: found northwards to around the sub-Antarctic islands of S. Shetland and S. Orkney.


Balushkin, A.V. and R. Eakin. 1998. A new toad plunderfish Pogonophryne fusca sp. nova (Fam. Artedidraconidae: Notothenioidei) with notes on species composition and species groups in the genus Pogonophryne Regan. J. Ichthyol. 38(8):574-579.

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

Junior synonyms include P. curtilemma, orcadensis, and velifera (Balushkin & Eakin, 1998).