One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish. Hog fish, dog fish, meet the Frog fish!
I have a good friend who has a fascination with frog fish. And with good reason! Frog fish are one of the most interesting, and diverse creatures in the ocean. I have learned a few things while visiting my friend at Crystal Blue Resort in Anilao, Philippines, about frog fish. The first and most important thing is that frog fish are cool.
Besides being cryptically well camouflaged, the frog fish comes in sizes from the size of a pea to the size of a basketball. It comes in various colors, textures and patterns too.
Lest this sound like a clothing advertisement, let me tell you about it’s feeding habits. A frogfish has a lure that it waves above it’s head, tempting other fish to come take a bite.
But when that fish get’s close, the frog fish has a lightning quick strike. Check out “One Little Speckled Frog” to Watch a video, here.
A frog fish can open it’s mouth wide enough to eat a fish nearly the same size as itself.
If you watched the video, you can see that the frog fish stalked it’s prey like a cat, walking on its fins. Frog fish don’t swim with their tails and fins like other fish. Instead, they propel themselves through the water by pushing water through their mouths and out a valve behind their elbow-like fins.
Most of the time, they stay close to a sponge or rock which looks just like they do, and wait for their prey to come to them. Look closely at the image below. There is a large frog fish front and center. You can see it’s frowning mouth and it is tipping to the right. Another brown frog fish is turned away from the camera behind the first.
Some frog fish are brightly colored and don’t seem to be camouflaged at all.
And the hairy frogfish has filaments all over it’s body that resemble the algae in it’s environment.
Only a few of these fascinating creatures are represented here, but you can check out the amazing portfolio and blog (click “critterhead) of my friend, Mike Bartick, to see an astonishing variety of frogfish including mating frogfish (click “What’s New”) at Saltwaterphoto.com. If you are interested in seeing these critters for yourself, my favorite place to see them is at Crystal Blue Resort in Anilao, Philippines.