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Hairy / Striated Frogfish - Juvenile

Antennarius striatus

Description:

This small fish grows up to 22 cm (8.7 in) long. Like other members of its family, it has a rounded, extensible body, and its soft skin is covered with irregularly-arranged dermal spinules resembling hairs. Its large mouth is forwardly extensible, allowing it to swallow prey as large as itself. The coloring of its body is extremely variable because individual fish tend to match their living environments. Frogfishes have the capacity to change coloration and pigment pattern, taking only a few weeks to adapt. The dominant coloration varies from yellow to brownish-orange, passing through a range of shades, but it can also be green, gray, brown, almost white, or even completely black without any pattern. Body and fins can be marked with roughly parallel dark stripes or elongated blotches, some with rays radiating outward from the eye. The first dorsal spine, the illicium, tips forward, and is modified for use like a fishing rod. Its tip has a characteristic worm-like esca (lure) which, when waved, attracts unsuspecting prey. The dorsal spine is composed of two to seven elongated appendages. The lure is a way to easily distinguish A. striatus from Antennarius hispidus, which otherwise has similar physical characteristics (stripes, coloration, cutaneous appendages) and with which it is often confused. The illicium has the same length as the second dorsal spine and it is often darkly banded. The second dorsal spine is practically vertical and is movable, while the third one is bent towards the back of the body. They are well separated from each other and also from the dorsal fin. The pectoral fins are angled, and with the pelvic fins, allow the frogfish to "walk" on the sea bottom and to keep a stable position for ambush.

Habitat:

Sandy/rubble bottom ranging from 3 meters depth to 30 plus meters.

Notes:

The coin was placed next to it for size reference. Diameter of coin is around 2.5cm, this specimen is around 2cm in size.

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5 Comments

AlbertKang
AlbertKang 5 years ago

Thanks, @tbrett :)

tbrett
tbrett 5 years ago

Very cool little fish. :)

AlbertKang
AlbertKang 5 years ago

Thanks, @roermer1 and @Marta :)
They can be even smaller than this and its exciting when you can find this tiny little cuties :).
The set-up also helps to get better contrast with the background as they can be well camouflaged with the surrounding and difficult to make their features stand -out.

roemer1
roemer1 5 years ago

Oh. My. Gosh. So TINY!

The MnMs
The MnMs 5 years ago

Clever set up! :-) I know they can be really tiny!

AlbertKang
Spotted by
AlbertKang

Batangas, Philippines

Lat: 13.76, Long: 120.91

Spotted on Jan 14, 2013
Submitted on May 13, 2014

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