Pogonophryne fusca

Common Name

Dark Toad Plunderfish

Year Described

Balushkin & Eakin, 1998


Dorsal Fin: II, 28
Anal Fin: 17
Pectoral Fin: 20
Pelvic Fin: I, 5
Caudal Fin: 8-11 (branched rays)
Gill Rakers: 9 in outer row, 8 in inner row; 17 (total in first arch)
Branchiostegal rays: 5
Upper Lateral Line Scales: 25
Middle Lateral Line Scale: 15-16 (tubular except 1-2 porous)
Vertebrae: 38

Body elongate, flattened ventrally, with a large and wide head. Post-temporal ridges not developed. Eyes large. Snout length equal to orbit. Interorbital wide. Two dorsal fins: one a small spiny fin over opercle and the other a long-based fin consisting of rays. Second dorsal fairly low. Anal fin slightly shorter than dorsal in height with origin well behind dorsal origin. Pectoral fin large and fan-shaped. Pelvic fin jugular, rounded and fairly long. Caudal fin truncate. Lower jaw tip extends well beyond upper jaw. Mouth reaching beyond 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 mid-dorsal fin and the other on the lateral midline on the rear body and caudal peduncle. Mental barbel moderate (not reaching to posterior of orbit) with a thickened stalk, and an expanded terminal end with a tapered tip. Barbel covered with small papillae basally and large flattened papillae terminally.

Description based on single known female specimen.


Body and head pale basally with entire ventral part of head and body dark to black. Head with numerous dark spots and irregular blotches/bands. Posterior of maxilla and nostrils pale. Spiny dorsal fin with dark membranes. Soft dorsal and anal fins with oblique lines formed by spots. Pectoral fin with 6-7 vertical bands formed from spots and a plae margin. Pelvic fin dark basally with a pale margin. Caudal fin with vertical spot-bands and a pale margin. Barbel with 2-3 dark blotches.


Holotype: 179mm TL.


Taken from 466-493m. Bottom dwelling.


Sub-Antarctic: known only from off Elephant Island (S. Shetland Is. group).


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

Known only from the holotype.