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Boarfish Antigonia capros Lowe 1843

[Jordan and Evermann, 1896-1900, p. 1665.]

Boarfish (Antigonia capros)

Figure 225.—Boarfish (Antigonia capros), 105 mm. specimen, south of Nantucket Lightship. Drawing by H. B. Bigelow.


This Boar Fish[54] is set apart from all other Gulf of Maine fishes by the fact that its very thin body is deeper than it is long (longer than deep in all other species yet recorded from our Gulf). It resembles the John Dory (p. 297) in the general arrangement of its fins, both the spiny portion of the dorsal and the soft portion being well developed, with the latter much the longer of the two, but lower; the soft-rayed [page 439] anal is about as long as the soft dorsal and is preceded by 3 spines with fin membrane. The ventrals are placed a little behind the pectorals. It lacks the bony skin plates and the filamentous prolongations of the dorsal spines so conspicuous on the John Dory; and its mouth is very small (larger in the John Dory).


Color, in life, pink and pinkish white.


Maximum reported length about 1 foot.

General range—

Tropical and subtropical Atlantic, mostly offshore.[55]

Occurrence in the Gulf of Maine—

We mention this fish because we have seen 8 specimens[56] and heard of 6 others[57] that were trawled in 55-80 fathoms, south of Nantucket Lightship in May 1950. Other records of it near the American coast are one trawled by the Albatross III at 50 fathoms and a second at 22 fathoms off North Carolina, in January 1950. It has also been taken near Madeira, off the Barbados, and in Cuban waters.

[54] This is the only member of the family that has been reported from the western side of the North Atlantic.

[55] Reports of it from Japan, from the Kai Islands and from the Celebes Sea (Manado) may have been based on a closely allied fish. For descriptions of the species of this genus, with references, see Fraser-Brunner (Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Ser. 12, vol. 3, No. 32, 1950, pp. 721-724).

[56] Three trawled by Albatross III; five by the Eugene H.

[57] Reported by Capt. Henry Klimm, of the dragger Eugene H.