Fish ID: The frogfish
by Cindy
in Blog
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everything you always wanted to know about "frogfish"
FUN FACTS

- A frogfish’s mouth can expand to 12 times its resting size. This allows it to catch all sorts of prey
- They really do have similarities to frogs
- Their attack is amongst the fastest in the world, being able to trap prey in 0.006 seconds!

Identity
Where to find them?

You can find frogfishes in in almost all tropical and subtropical oceans and seas around the world, the primary exception being the Mediterranean Sea. Their habitats lie mainly in areas about 20°C or sometimes more.

How long do they live?

They can live up to 20 years old in the wild

What size are they?

Frogfishes can be from about 2,5cm up to over 30 cm (giant)

How many species?

Until today, we discovered about 47 species 

How do they reproduce?

From 8 hours to several days before the female releases the eggs, the male comes to her, nudges her in the abdomen until she’s ready. Once she’s ready to spawn the eggs, they go closer to the surface. As she releases the eggs the male fertilizes the eggs (with sperm). Commonly, the male is up to 10 times smaller than the female.

How & what do they eat?

They move their lure on top of their head to make it like a small animal and attract their prey, then they open their mouth (until 12 times its resting size) and just suck and swallow their prey. As their stomach can expand 2 times their size, they don’t chew their preys.

They mainly eat crustaceans, other fishes and even other frogfishes.   

How do they move?

They can swim, clamber, and use jet propulsion, but they do not move very often. They prefer lie on the floor and wait for preys to approach.

Who are their predators?

First of all, to protect them from their predators, they use their camouflage, and they can use it for their preys. Anyway, lizardfish and scorpionfihes

What do we still ignore?

What triggers their change of color, how the male knows when the female is about to spawn, etc.

*All pictures in this article are coming from my dear friend Volker "Ibins".

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