Ryan Photographic - Antennariidae - Anglerfishes, frogfishes


Invertebrates
Chordates
Photo Library
Search

Antennariidae

Antennariidae, known as frogfishes in much of the English-speaking world and anglerfishes in Australia, are found mainly between 20 degrees north and south of the equator. The sargassumfish Histrio histrio is an obvious exeception and may drift well out of this range on its host Sargassum seaweed. Although the giant frogfish (see immediately below) reaches a length of 37.5 cm (15 inches for you Brits and Americans who don't understand the metric system) they are mostly much smaller than this.

Frogfishes are globular with fleshy pectoral and pelvic fins with which they can walk along the bottom (who says fish can't walk). The video below shows a male striated frogfish pursuing a female.

Frogfishes are capable of slow color change and are typically camouflaged. Some species, such as the striated frogfish, can grow fleshy skin filaments which disguise their outline.

Most frogfishes possess a fishing rod called the illicium (the modified first dorsal fin) which has a lure (the esca) at the tip. Frogfishes wave this backwards and forwards when potential prey comes within range. The victim is ingested by an extraordinary inrush of water which is induced by enlarging the mouth cavity - up to 12 times its normal volume. Slow motion video shows that the strike occurs in 6 milliseconds, faster than muscles can contract - so we still have much to learn about how they do this.

I once attempted to photograph a pair of sargassumfish which our boatman had scooped into a bucket along with their host Sargassum weed. Within a few seconds the larger one ingested the small one and during a topping up of the bucket the survivor swam back into the water. Cannibalism is apparently reasonably common which makes matng a risky activity for the male.

In some species large numbers of eggs (up to 180,000 in the sargassumfish) are released into the water. When they hatch, the youngsters drift in the plankton for several weeks before settling out on the bottom. Some species brood eggs, while others attach them to rocks and guard them.

On a personal note, I think these guys are amazingly cool. Every time I have seen one I have been stunned by their extraordinary shape, coloration and behaviors. I doubt I will ever become tired of photographing these fabulous animals.

According to the authoritative website FishBase there are currently 50 species of frogfish in 14 genera.

 

Antennarius commersoni Giant frogfish or anglerfish

Giant frogfish

Find the frogfish ... there are two very large giant frogfish, Antennarius commersoni, in this photo. Wakatobi, Sulawesi, Indonesia.

giant frogfish

FISH 6120 Antennarius commersoni, Giant frogfish or anglerfish, Kona, Hawaii

giant frogfish photo

FISH 6139 Antennarius commersoni, Giant frogfish or anglerfish, Kona, Hawaii

giant frogfish photo

FISH 6146 Antennarius commersoni, Giant frogfish or anglerfish, Kona, Hawaii

giant yellow frogfish

FISH 6145 Antennarius commersoni, Giant frogfish or anglerfish, Kona, Hawaii

Antennrius commersoni Giant frogfish Puerto Galera, Philippines

FISH 8122 Antennarius commersoni Giant frogfish Puerto Galera, Philippines.

Antennarius commersoni Giant frogfish Puerto Galera, Philippines

FISH 7912 Antennarius commersoni Giant frogfish Puerto Galera, Philippines.

Antennarius pictus? Painted frogfish

Antennarius pictus, Painted frogfish, Lembeh Straits

FISH 6857 Antennarius pictus?, Painted frogfish?, Lembeh Straits.

Antennarius striatus Striated frogfish

Antennarius striatus Striated frogfish, Lembeh Straits

FISH 6221 Antennarius striatus, Striated frogfish, Lembeh Strait, seems to be female (hairy) and male (smooth).

Antennarius striatus Striated frogfish, Lembeh Straits

FISH 6245 Antennarius striatus, Striated frogfish, Lembeh Strait, seems to be female (hairy) and male (smooth).

Antennarius striatus Striated frogfish, Lembeh Straits

FISH 6224 Antennarius striatus, Striated frogfish, Lembeh Strait, seems to be female (hairy) and male (smooth).

Antennarius striatus, Striated frogfish, Lembeh Straits

FISH 6228 Antennarius striatus, Striated frogfish, Lembeh Straits.

Antennarius striatus Striated frogfish, Lembeh Straits

FISH 6263 Antennarius striatus, Striated frogfish, Lembeh Strait, hard to believe this is a fish.

Antennarius striatus Striated frogfish, Lembeh Straits

FISH 6293 Antennarius striatus, Striated frogfish, Lembeh Strait.

Antennarius striatus, Striated frogfish, Lembeh Strait, note lure

FISH 6300 Antennarius striatus, Striated frogfish, Lembeh Strait, note lure.

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Video of Antennarius striatus Striated frogfish, Lembeh Straits. Blu-ray quality is available.

 

 

[Previous]

Fishes

[Next]

 

[Up]

 Photo Library

[Home]  Home Page
[Contents]  Dr Paddy Ryan Contents
[Contact]  Contact Paddy

 

Ryan Photographic, 2802 East 132nd Circle, Thornton, CO  80241  USA  Phone 303-919-7145