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a family of marine fish of the order Percomorphi. The teeth of the Anarhichadidae are adapted for crushing hard food, such as echinoderms, mollusks, and large crustaceans. The body is elongated and covered with very small scales embedded in the skin. The fish are found in the northerns parts of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. There are two genera. The genus Anarhichthys with one species, the wolf eel (A. ocellatus), is found along the shores of North America from San Diego, Calif., to Kodiak Island, Alaska. This species measures up to 250 cm long. The genus Anarhichas comprises four species. The Bering wolffish (A. orientalis) is a coastal form found in the northwestern part of the Pacific Ocean; it reaches a length of 112 cm. The northern wolffish, or jelly cat (A. latifrons) is distributed in the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean, mainly in the Barents Sea, at depths of 75–850 m; it measures up to 138 cm long and weighs up to 32 kg. The spotted wolffish (A. minor) has an area of distribution similar to that of the northern wolffish and is found at depths of 51–500 m; it measures up to 135 cm long. The Atlantic wolffish (A. lupus) is found in the Barents and White seas and is common near the coasts of England and Ireland and in the North Sea near the coast of Norway; sometimes it is found as far as the Gulf of Finland. It is found at depths of up to 500 m.
The fish are sought commercially in the Barents, Norwegian, and North seas. They are used for food (including smoked and salted). Their skin is used in the production of leather goods (such as purses).
REFERENCEFauna SSSR: Ryby, vol. 5, fasc. 5. Moscow, 1959.
A. A. SVETOVIDOVA