A person who first sees this bright, singular-looking fish would take it
for a representative of tropical fauna brought by warm currents into Russian
waters. Yet, the Agonomalus permanently lives in the cold coastal
waters of Primorye. It relates to the Raia clavata family, fishes that
strictly adhere to cold waters and dwell at the sea bottom on rocky-sandy
and silty soils. A total of forty-five species with highly diverse body
shape belong to this family, of which only five species belong to Agonomalus.
Agonomalus proboscidalis occurs constantly in small numbers in trawl fishery of bottom fish at 50 m and deeper, where water temperatures even in summer do not rise higher than 5-7oC. Feeds on small invertebrates, which its proboscis, located in the anterior part of the head, apparently helps it find. Normally, the proboscis hangs freely, but the fish can strain it to draw it in forward.
The Agonomalus body, like also that of other Raia claviata representatives, is covered with rows of osseous plates. The body is 25-30 cm long. The weird form and peculiar color of these fish had attracted seafarers long ago, and the latter imparted them some unusual, sometimes fantastic properties. This fish is not used as food and has few natural enemies; as a result, nothing threatens its existence at this point. Its range includes the northern waters of Japan, Peter the Great Bay and Tatar Strait.