⬅ #76 suckerfish #77 football fishNH-Icon-footballfish #78 oarfish ➡

The football fish, Himantolophus groenlandicus, is an uncommon winter fish. It can be found between 4 pm and 9 am between the months of November and March. It sells for 2,500 Bells at Tom Nook's store.

Capture quotes

"I caught a football fish! Well, well... you've came a long way!" —Wild World
"AWESOME! I caught a football fish! TOUCHDOWN!" —City Folk
"I caught a football fish! Thanks to my fishing tackle!" —New Leaf
"I caught a football fish! Some countries call it a soccer fish!" —New Horizons

Donation to the museum

In Wild World

"This is rather graphic, but football fish males can get attached to females... Literally attached! And then the males get absorbed into the females! I heard this, and I thought how lucky I was to have been born an owl, eh wot?"

In City Folk

"...The most striking detail of the football fish's life is the way multiple males are cared for by one female. You heard me correctly! A single female football fish will nourish and raise multiple males by herself! In contrast to the females, males don't make nests or gather food. Their sole task is to cling to the female! ...Another tidbit: only the females possess that amazing, glowing antenna! ...Romance certainly takes many forms in the animal kingdom, eh wot?"

In New Leaf

In New Leaf, an information board in the aquarium will list information about this fish.

"Football fish live in parts of the ocean so deep that light does not reach them. Their lanterns, which they sway back and forth to lure prey, can emit light thanks to special bacteria. When prey gets near, they shoot a luminescent liquid and snatch the prey while it's blinded by the light. Only females possess the useful lantern. They can grow to be about two feet by maturity. Males are small, less than two inches in length."

In New Horizons

In New Horizons, upon donation or selecting "Tell me more about this!", Blathers the curator will say:

"The football fish is a strange and grotesque deep-sea fish with a lantern-like light on its forehead. Its light is apparently powered by luminous bacteria and other glowing microorganisms. One theory says it can spray these luminescent sidekicks when prey approaches in order to dazzle them... The deep contains many mysteries... as well as some things that are just sort of odd and off-putting."

The fish can be found in the front saltwater fish exhibit, in the back tank with the coelacanth and oarfish.

Encyclopedia information

Wild World

Encyclopedia Information
Football fish (Wild World) "Males are only a few centimeters long. Bacteria on the fish make them glow."
Size 23.4 inches
Habitat Ocean
Season Fall to spring
Icon Football fish (Wild World icon)

City Folk

Encyclopedia Information
Football Fish (City Folk)
"Their lanterns are extensions of their dorsal fins. Just the females head lights up."
Size About 24 inches
Habitat Ocean
Season Winter

New Leaf

Encyclopedia Information
Football fish encyclopedia (New Leaf)
"I caught a football fish! Thanks to my fishing tackle!"
Size About 24 inches
Habitat Ocean
Season Winter

New Horizons

Encyclopedia Information
"I caught a football fish! Some countries call it a soccer fish!"
Habitat Sea
Months active (north) November through March
Months active (south) May through September


Further Information


A real-life football fish.

Main article: Atlantic footballfish on Wikipedia

The Himantolophus groenlandicus[1] or the Atlantic Football Fish is a type of football fish found in tropical and temperate bodies of water. They live deep underwater, in the "midnight zone". Both genders have a gelatinous flesh which thickens in the females, the bacteria on their body also gives them a "glowing" appearance.[2]

Females are a lot bigger than males, ranging to about 40-60 cm in length. Females also have an esca (the growth coming from their head) which they use as a lure to catch smaller fish; cuttlefish or small crustaceans. Males are much smaller than females, the biggest recorded size being only 7 cm.[3]



In other languages

Football fish
Language Name
Flag of Japan Japanese チョウチンアンコウ Chōchin'ankō
Flag of France small French Poisson lanterne
Flag of Spain Spanish Pez balón
Flag of Germany small German Anglerfisch
Flag of Italy small Italian Pesce abissale
Flag of the Netherlands Dutch Voetbalvis
Flagofrussiasmall Russian Гимантолоф Gimantolof
Flagofchinasmall Chinese 灯笼鱼 Dēnglóngyú
Flag of South Korea Korean 초롱아귀 Chorongagwi

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