Pogonophryne marmorata

Common Name

Marmorated Plunderfish

Year Described

Norman, 1938


Dorsal Fin: II-III, 25-28
Anal Fin: 16-18
Pectoral Fin: 17-20
Pelvic Fin: I, 5
Caudal Fin: 8-11 (branched rays)
Gill Rakers: 16-21 (total in first arch)
Branchiostegal rays: 5
Upper Lateral Line Scales: 18-25 (tubular anteriorly, disc-shaped posteriorly)
Middle Lateral Line Scale: 9-19 (disc-shaped anteriorly and tube-shaped posteriorly)
Vertebrae: 36-38

A “marmorata group” plunderfish. Body elongate, flattened ventrally, with a large and wide head. Post-temporal ridges well developed. Eyes large. Snout flattened and constricted; length equal to orbit. Interorbital wide (7.1-11.0 in HL). Two dorsal fins: one a very small spiny fin over opercle and the other a long-based fin consisting of rays. Second dorsal quite high. Anal fin shorter 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 extends well beyond upper. 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 mid-dorsal fin and the other on the lateral midline on the rear body and caudal peduncle. Mental barbel fairly short (2.5-4.6 in HL) with an expanded tip (2.5-3.0 times as wide as stalk and 30-60% of barbel length) covered in folds.


Head and body light yellowish covered in dark spots and blotches, becoming smaller on dorsal surface. Belly unmarked pale or dark. Dorsal fin variable: from pale to dark or with a dark anterior lobe and spots posteriorly. Anal fin mostly light. Pectoral fin with 3-7 vertical bands. Pelvic fin pale, often with indistinct bands. Caudal fin either dark with pale edges or with several vertical bands. Barbel pale.


Maximum size to 21cm L.


Captured over a wide depth range (140-1,405m). Bottom dwelling. Feeds on worms and small crustaceans.


Sub-Antarctic: known from the S. Shetland Is. and S. Orkney Is.


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.