The Warty Frogfish

By: Ellie Knight

Scientific Name

Antennarius maculatus


clown frogfish

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(Zubi, 2008)


This species of frogfish thrives in shallow sheltered reefs, among algae, sponges and soft corals up to 20m deep. They can be found from Mauritius to Solomon islands, Papua New Guinea, probably New Caledonia, mainly the Philippines and Indonesia Southeast Asia to Japan (Zubi, 2008).

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(Zubi, 2008)


Frogfish can slowly change colors and this along with their unusual shape helps with camouflage. Sometimes you can hardly tell the difference between the fish and the coral. Warty frogfish grow to only be 8-10 cm but other species like the giant frogfish can be up to 38 cm.

Frogfish are not strong swimmers, instead they move by sucking in large amounts of water and forcing it through their gills to propel themselves. They also can hop, walk or gallop using their specially adapted "feet" fins (Ferrai, 2013).

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(Zubi, 2008)


Females can lay anywhere from 40,000 to 180,000 eggs. The eggs are encased in a ribbon like buoyant mass made of mucus which keeps all the eggs together as it drifts for a several days and then sinks to the bottom after they hatch. The planktonic stage lasts 1 to 2 months (Diving, n.d.).


To attract prey frogfish have a lure called an illicium that looks like food to other fish and crustaceans. They can swallow them live in one gulp because of their extendable mouth and stomach. Warty frogfish have been seen being eaten by other frogfish and moray eels but they are not a staple in any predators diet. However when they are eggs or still plankton they are eaten by all kinds of fish (Diving, n.d.).

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Works Cited

Diving with Frogfish. (n.d.). Retrieved April 20, 2015, from

Ferrai, A. (2013, June 6). THE AMAZING FROGFISH. Retrieved April 20, 2015, from

Zubi, T. (2008, March 1). Retrieved April 20, 2015, from