Frogfish Field Guide

Order: Lophiiformes Family: Antennariidae – Anglerfish or Frogfish

Giant Frogfish – Antennarius commersonii

As the name suggests this species is one of the largest, if not the largest of Frogfish, growing up to 33cm. They are one of the most commonly encountered by divers. Able to change coloration very quickly to match their surroundings the fish shown in the first and second image is the same creature, photographed two years apart.

Painted Frogfish – Antennarius pictus

Another commonly encountered species throughout the tropics and similar to the Giant Frogfish, although slightly smaller, growing up to 15cm with some fin, rod and lure differences.

Clown Frogfish – Antennarius maculatus

Sometimes referred to as the Warty Frogfish. They are less common and highly prized amoung underwater photographers, often displaying wonderful coloration. A relatively small species with adults reaching up to 10cm in size. The juvenile of this species is similar to the juvenile Painted Frogfish, however we can differentiate them from the shape of their lure.

Shaggy Frogfish – Antennarius hispidus

Extremely cryptic with algal growth perfectly matching it surroundings. With adults growing to approx. 15cm, this is a relatively small frogfish.

Marble Mouthed Frogfish – Lophiocharon lithinostomus

Considered to be a rare species, known only to North Borneo and neighboring areas of the Philippines. Inhabiting brackish water they are extremely cryptic with texture and coloration perfectly matching their environment, they appear lifeless and even when pointed out they are very hard to see. Their Illicium (rod) is twig like and over twice the length of the first dorsal fin. Adults grow to a maximum size of 10cm.

Different Species Illicium (Rod) and Lure.

When identifying Frogfish the most important distinguishing factor is their Illicium (Rod) and the lure that sits on the tip.

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