SANGUINE FROGFISH
Antennatus sanguineus

Habitat: Sanguine frogfish typically are found in crevices of rocky reefs.

Average adult size: Adults can grow to be 5 inches long.

Natural history: Frogfish have lumpy bodies, large upturned mouths and come in every color imaginable. You would think they should stick out on the reef like a sore thumb. But unless they move, frogfish are almost invisible. They can change color to match their surroundings perfectly. Brown ones among a bunch of brown rocks, and bright orange ones on an orange sponge. They are camouflage masters. A sit-and-wait predator, the sanguine frogfish uses a lure to attract prey. A "fishing" fish. Its first dorsal spine is modified to look like a fishing pole, which it wiggles enticingly over its mouth. Any interested little fishes are swallowed whole. And any big ones for that matter, as frogfish bodies can expand to eat prey longer than themselves. Their pectoral fins look more like hands than fins. Frogfish will crawl along the bottom, slowly pulling themselves "hand-over-hand." Females will lay up to 300,000 eggs at a time in a floating gelatinous mass. All in all, quite a strange and wonderful little fish.

Range: From Baja, California, south to Peru.


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