Atlantic Wolffish | Oceana Canada

Canadian Marine Life Encyclopedia

Atlantic Wolffish

Anarhichus lupus

Also known as

Striped wolffish, seawolf, seacat, ocean catfish

Distribution

Cold temperate to subpolar north Atlantic Ocean

Écosystèmes/habitats

Rocky reefs and hard bottoms

Feeding Habits

Aggressive predator

Conservation Status

Special concern/data deficient

Taxonomie

Order Cottiformes (sculpins & relatives); Family Anarhichadidae (wolffishes)

Partager

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Google+

With even just a brief glance, you can quickly figure out how the Atlantic wolffish was named. their large, canine-like teeth protrude from their mouths, giving them a wolf-like scowl. Behind these visible primary canine teeth are a cluster of five or six smaller canines, as well as three sets of crushing teeth on the roof of their mouths, used to grindhard-shelled prey. In spite of their slightly ferocious appearance and large teeth, Atlantic wolffish are not aggressive. They feed on slow-moving or sedentary prey such as sea urchins, crabs, molluscs and large snails. Atlantic wolffish are also incredibly well-adapted for cold water conditions, able to survive in water below 0°C, thanks to high concentrations of an antifreeze compound in their blood.