Short And Thick, Does the Trick
There are 45 species of frogfish. Frogfish usually inhabits coral reefs,deepest depth of 330 feet.Frogfish are a bottom-dweller that spends its life on the rocky sea floor. Frogfish can reach 1/8 to 22 inches in length, depending on the species. Frogfish has short, stocky body with upward pointed mouth and rounded dorsal fins and tail.
Color of the body depends on the habitat. Frogfish can be white,yellow,beige,pink,green or black colored.It is able to change the color of the body to blend with its environment. But unlike the chameleon,the Frogfish is unable to change its colour quickly,it can take several weeks.During a coral-bleaching event in the Maldives,where great areas of coral became pure white, a frogfish was found camouflaging itself against these ghostly corals.
A Fish With no Scales
Frogfish do not have scales.Unusual shape of the body,with spines or bumps on the surface create an impression of the sponge.
Frogfish are carnivores. Its diet is based on the fish and crustaceans. If they are really hungry they eat each other!
First spine of dorsal fin is modified into rod with twig, feather or worm-like lure called "Esca" on the top.Frogfish wriggles the lure in front of the head to attract the prey. Lure can be regenerated in the case of damage.Recent research has shown the Striated Frogfish’s lure to be biofluorescent.
Frogfish is an ambush predator which hunts the prey using the element of surprise.Once the prey is close enough, frogfish swallows it in a blink of an eye - the attack lasts 6 milliseconds.
Frogfish do not have teeth and it swallows its prey in one piece. It can swallow the prey that is 2 times bigger than the fish itself thanks to ability to expand the mouth 12 times its normal size.
The frogfish lacks a swim bladder.The frogfish swims by jet propulsion. It uses backward-facing, tubelike gill openings that propel it along rather than using a tail like most fishes. Although Frogfish rarely swim, they usually walk on the sea floor using the modified pectoral fins.
Beware of Cannibals
Natural enemies of frogfish are large species of frogfish and moray eel.
The Frogfish is a solitary creature. It can be found with other frogfish, but only during the mating season.Fertilization takes place in the water, both male and female release their reproductive cells. The female produces 40,000 to 180,000 per season.
Eggs are usually laid in a mucus on the ocean floor.They are often called "veil" or "egg raft" due to ribbon-like shape of the mass of eggs and ability to float thanks to ocean currents.Some males carry eggs in between the hairs,bumps and other structures on the body.Some species of frogfish do not show parental care, while others guard the eggs until they hatch.
Oh,Look at me...I’m a Slug
Fry emerge from the eggs 2 to 5 days after fertilization.Young fish are often coloured like the poisonous sea slugs or flatworms to ensure protection against predators.
Frogfish can survive up to 20 years in the wild and despite accelerated habitat destruction and pollution of the sea, wild population of frogfish is still large and stable.
Inflation - Frogfish can inflate their body to startle predators.
And Finally...... Where Can I Find One?
Frogfish can be found in the tropical and subtropical Oceans and waters near the coasts of Africa, Asia, Australia, North America,Caribbean, Hawaii.
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