Frogfishes
Family Antennariidae; Order Lophiiformes (Anglerfishes)
Frogfishes are some of the weirdest creatures on the reef. They are very rare and even harder to see - they are the masters of disguise. It is a shame to say that, despite all those frogfish pictures I took, I have never actually found a single frogfish myself. They are the only animals that I hopelessly fail to find. Frogfishes use an arsenal of makeup techniques to mimic inanimate objects (sponges, corals, seaweeds, rocks) or to blend into surrounding background. They can change their colors in a few days to imitate a new environment. Most of the time a frogfish stays motionless waiting for a prey. The front dorsal spine is transformed into a "fishing rod" (illicium), equipped with a lure (esca), that can twitch and wriggle imitating a small fish, shrimp or a worm. When an unsuspecting prey enticed by the bait swims close, the frogfish opens its enormous mouth, sucks the prey in and swallows it. This happens faster than any fish can react, giving it no chance to escape.
Another amazing attribute of frogfishes is their unique pectoral fins. They have elbow-like joints that are used more for crawling than for swimming. Their finger-like rays, sometimes ending with claw-like tips, are designed for grabbing and holding. Although frogfishes are not related to modern tetrapods, they offer an interesting example of how nature reapplies an analogous strategy, used long time ago when tetrapods evolved, to produce a new adaptation in fish that never put its fin on dry land.
Mimicry and camouflage make it difficult to accurately identify the species. It is often impossible to do it looking at a photograph.
Antennarius cf. coccineus Giant frogfish
Antennarius commersonii
Giant frogfish
Antennarius commersonii
Giant frogfish
Antennarius commersonii
Painted frogfish
Antennarius pictus
Painted frogfish
Antennarius cf. pictus
Painted frogfish
Antennarius pictus
Sargassumfish
Histrio histrio
Warty clown frogfish
Antennarius maculatus
Warty clown frogfish
Antennarius maculatus
Warty clown frogfish
Antennarius maculatus
Frogfish - Antennarius sp.
Freckled frogfish
Antennarius cf. coccineus
Antennarius hispidus Lembeh frogfish
Antennarius sp.
Tiny frogfish
Antennarius sp.
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