H is for Hairy Frogfish Facts : A-Z Collection of Cool Animals

H is for Hairy Frogfish Facts : A-Z Collection of Cool Animals

Hairy Frogfish Facts

A-Z Collection of Cool Animals Challenge

A-Z Collection of Cool Animals April 2015 Challenge

H is for Hairy Frogfish

Hairy Frogfish are a type of anglerfish from the Antennariidae family, found in almost all tropical and subtropical oceans and seas around the world, with the exception of the Mediterranean Sea.  They live near sandy bottoms, by coral reef, sponges, or hiding in trash and debris, generally at most up to 330 ft (100 meters) deep. The greatest diversity of species is in the Indo-Pacific region, with the highest concentration around Indonesia.

H is for Hairy Frogfish Facts : A-Z Collection of Cool Animals
Teresa Zubi, Flickr

Hairy Frogfish Facts – Features

  • Frogfish are stocky, and range from 1-15 inches (2.5–38 cm) long.
  • Their body has no scales, but is covered with 1000’s fleshy spines that look like hair. These hair-like extensions are called “spinules” and have the ability to change color to match their surroundings to help the frogfish blend into coral, sponges and sea weed.
  • Their short bodies have between 18 and 23 vertebrae and their mouths are upward pointed with palatal teeth.
  • The hairy frogfish rarely swim and gives the appearance of “walking” due to the design of their pectoral and pelvic fins which actually have joints like toes.
  • Some species of frogfish can also inflate themselves, like pufferfish, by sucking in water in a threat display.

Hairy Frogfish Facts – Camouflage

  • Hairy frogfish can change their color, from yellows or yellow-browns, to darker green, black, or dark red.
  • They usually appear with the lighter color, but the change can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. It is unknown what triggers the change.
H is for Hairy Frogfish Facts : A-Z Collection of Cool Animals
Jayvee Fernandez, Flickr

Hairy Frogfish Facts – Hunting

  • Frogfish eat crustaceans, other fish, and even each other, being cannibalistic.
  • Males have been known to kill and eat a female frogfish if she stays too close after mating.  (Now, that’s just rude!)
  • They will stay in the same position on the ocean floor for weeks at a time in a place they consider a good hunting spot. The camouflaged frogfish will wait until its victim gets close enough before before they strike.
  • They have a special adaptation on the top of their head that hangs out in front of it’s face like fishing lure, called the esca. This can sometimes look a shrimp, a small fish, or a worm, that dangles and attracts unsuspecting prey.
  • If the esca is somehow damaged or lost, it can be regenerated.
  • When approaching prey come to within roughly seven body-lengths … (well, watch this video for spectacular footage!).

  • Slow-motion filming has shown that the frogfish sucks in its prey in just six milliseconds, so fast that other animals cannot see it happen.  This is less time than it takes a muscle to contract, so the source of the motion remains unknown.
  • Hairy frogfish will attempt (and succeed) to stuff any-sized creature into their over-sized mouths, and can also expand their stomachs to swallow animals up to twice their size.
H is for Hairy Frogfish Facts : A-Z Collection of Cool Animals
Silke Baron, Flickr

H is for Hairy Frogfish – aren’t they amazing?

Source for Hairy FrogfishWikipedia

Video:  Willy Buser

Photo Credits:  {1}  {2} {3}



I hope you have enjoyed, “H is for Hairy Frogfish

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Jeanne Melanson

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Jeanne Melanson

Owner at Animal Bliss
Born in Nova Scotia, I moved to the United States 20+ years ago.I am a dedicated lover of animals and fight for their rights and protection.I love people too, of course, and enjoy meeting folks from all walks of life.I enjoy philosophical discussion, laughing, and really odd ball stuff.I hope you enjoy my site.Leave me a comment to let me know you were here!Peace out.
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10 thoughts on “H is for Hairy Frogfish Facts : A-Z Collection of Cool Animals

  1. I had to click on this one – just for the name – “Hairy Frogfish” – I mean, how cool is that name? And then I was just enraptured! Is it just me or does it look like it could be a character on the Muppets? Maybe it’s the “googly eyes” on the top of its head, I don’t know – I just found the whole thing hysterically funny and cute. I love learning about all these unique creatures of our world – thanks Jeanne! 🙂
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    • Haha. I never thought of the muppets, but you’re right, Anne! It does have googly eyes. Good observation. I think this is the coolest creature! It walks on knuckled fins, after all! How unique is that? I’m glad you enjoyed learning about the Hairy Frogfish. Stay tuned for more fun stuff!

  2. ooooo! I love the hairy frogfish! and the video is awesome! I love it coughing out bits of fish…. reminds me of the old Kliban cartoon “Never eat something bigger than your head.” I think the frogfish did.

    • Hey there! I’m glad you love the hairy frogfish. Isn’t it amazing? I love how it walks too … those ‘feet’. Way cool. I love finding stuff like this to share on my blog. I learn so much too. Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog today. I appreciate you! Take care, and come back soon! 🙂

  3. I was here :), Jeanne – and definitely enjoyed learning about the Hairy Frog – what a creepy creature! Wonder what kind of prince he would turn into with a KISS! Thank you for sharing, HUGS <3

    • Hello, Dr. Judy! Very nice to see you here. I don’t think I’m going to be the one to volunteer kissing that Hairy Frogfish to find out if he’s a prince. I’m glad you stopped by, and hope you’ll come visit us again. Cheers! 🙂

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