There are some interesting facts about Frogfish. This fish one of your favorite species to see underwater. This article will discuss some facts about Frogfish.
It’s all in one name
Did you know that their name is derived from the fact that they really match the frogs! They have unique pectoral fins that are curved like an “elbow” in the front, and just behind these, they have slightly smaller pelvic wings. It is common in all frogfish species
Size is not everything
Mature frogfish vary in size by species and range in size from just 5 cm to huge 50 cm (for giant frogfish).
When it comes to fishing
All frogfish have a “greed” which is a fine antennae that rises from the top of the frogfish’s head and hangs the appendage that looks like a toe directly in front of the frogfish to attract the victim – hence the other common name for “anglerfish.”
When frog fishes hunt in front of them they are incredibly quick to open their mouths and fully suck their prey without chewing.
Just as fishermen use different hats, frog fish of different species also have different greed that mimics different prey from small squid, fish, and worms to crabs and shrimps.
Frogfish are so disguised that they still remain when approaching a potential victim, assuring them that they will not be stained and that they simply remove the temptation to bring the victim closer and follow the potential “victim” with only eye movement.
When the victim is within striking distance (less than the length of the body), it does not stand a chance!
Frogfish have extremely tender stomachs that allow the victim to devour up to twice their own size. If they try to devour a victim that exceeds their ability, they will be forced to leave it behind because they cannot chew it into small pieces – potentially a runaway for “food”.
Masters of camouflage
Frogfish have the ability to “fake” them all around, making them proficient in disguise. Despite being the size of a 50cm giant frogfish, it can be very difficult to detect, when it is the same color and has the same appearance as sponge corals that are growing next to it. Frogfish can change color to match their environment, but unlike cuttlefish and octopus, this is not an immediate change, it can take a few days or even a few weeks for the color to change.
The victim is the victim
Despite their disguise, frog fish are not without their own predators. Ticks, scorpionfish and other frogfish are known for eating these critics. Adolescent frogfish are easily released, once the frogfish are mature, they are usually hunted, not hunted.
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Frogfish spend long periods of time (which makes them the subject of underwater photography) but they are a swimming species, though they often jump and walk along the shore. The frog will suck the water in its mouth to read the “jump” and then flush it out with the gel – it literally makes them jet-powered!
Eggs, eggs, and more eggs
Did you know that female frog fish produce 40,000 to 180,000 eggs at a time, which actually makes them a little fussy?
During the mating process, the male will pull the female in the abdomen until the frogfish is ready, and then the pair will rise to the surface, where they release their eggs, which are attached to a mucus-like mass that looks like a ribbon and is known as epiplasmic egg vines. As soon as the eggs are released, the male immediately fertilizes them.
The old days
When the frug fishes are first hatched (as larvae) they appear completely miniature, but their nature’s greed does not yet remain – this happens later. Here in Lembeh we often find teenagers on our black sand dive sites and they range in size from 5mm to 10mm only! Teenagers often display different collections for frogfish to mature – did you know that the “clown” frogfish is actually a juvenile frogfish?
Frogfishes of Lembeh
If you are hoping to see frogfish when you are here in Lembeh we have a lot of species for you to choose from including: Hairy (Antennarius striatus), warty (Antennarius maculatus), giant (Antennarius commerson), painted (Antennarius pictus), hispid (Antennarius hispidus), ocellated (Antennarius ocellatus), sargassum (Antennarius sargassum) and freckled (Antennarius coccineus) and we are always on the look-out for new species too!