Frogfish are so named because their bodies and fins are covered with wart-like bumps. As is the case with frogs and toads, you won’t get warts if you touch these grumpy-looking fish. Their vivid colours and globular shapes provide them with excellent camouflage, particularly around sponges which they will increasingly depend on for shelter as they get older. Their colouration varies - blood red, black, cream, tan, yellow and brown are all common, often with spot sand blotches of pink, white or red - thus it is very important for a frogfish to find sponges that match its colouration.
Juveniles are more mobile and use their odd shapes and vivid colours to mimic nudibranchs (sea slugs) which are often poisonous and thus avoided by predators.
They are also known as "anglerfish" because of the lure on their heads which they wriggle to entice their prey. The lure is a modified dorsal fin. As ambush predators, frogfish lie very still, blending into the environment, and wait for unsuspecting fishes to swim past.
Because of their dependence on sponges for camouflage, frogfish are usually found in sheltered Indian Ocean reefs, where they are abundant but solitary.
- Lives on sheltered rocky and coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific Ocean.
- Body and fins are covered with wart-like bumps.
- Ambush predator which wriggles its lure to catch other fishes. Can eat prey close to its own size.
- Grows up to 15cm across
- Also known as a warty frogfish, largespotted angler, clown anglerfish and wartskin fish.