Frogfish quick facts

It’s difficult to make heads or tails of this globular fish.

 

What is it?

Painted frogfish (Antennarius pictus). Frogfishes have smooth skin covered in holes giving them a sponge-like appearance. The holes are called ocelli, or eye spots. They grow up to 30 centimeters (12 inches) long.

Where do they live?

They prefer the warmer waters of the tropical Indo-Pacific areas. Usually found hiding amongst the coral reefs and rocky beds in shallow lagoons and sandy areas. They live a solitary lifestyle and only tolerate the company of others during mating – after which, they quickly make their excuses and part ways.

What do they eat?

An opportunistic carnivore, they take advantage where they can and strike any prey that has the misfortune of wandering too close. They eat anything up to and including fish the same size as them.

Special skill

They know how to make the most of their strange spongy texture, and live close to actual sponges to blend into their surroundings. This species is the master of disguise and is able to show many colours and can slowly change colour to match its environment.