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Related FAQs: Anglerfishes, Anglers 2, Angler ID, Angler Behavior, Angler Compatibility, Angler Selection, Angler Systems, Angler Feeding, Angler Disease, Angler Reproduction,

Related Articles: Fishes with A Lure by Bob Fenner
Batfishes, family Ogcocephalidae, Indonesian Angler/Frogfishes,

/The Conscientious Marine Aquarist

The Bizarre Frogfishes, Anglerfishes, Order Lophiiformes/Antennariiformes

Part 3 of 3

To: Part 1, Part 2,

By Bob Fenner


Antennarius nummifer, Spotfin Frogfish. Short rod for fishing... spot on rear/base of soft dorsal. Indo-Pacific. E. Africa and Red Sea to E. Pacific. PNG pic by PhilS.

Antennarius pictus (Shaw & Nodder 1794), the Painted Anglerfish. Indo-Pacific. Principally imported from Indonesia and the Philippines. To 16 cm. overall length. Comes in all colors, and mottled, matching with local decor. Typically found amongst sponges, rock near the bottom or on the mud/muck. Below, N. Sulawesi images of some of the many color and marking varieties of this species (or multi-species complex). Distinguished by bony part of "fishing rod" being about twice the length of second dorsal spine and "lure" being an elongated and flat tuft.
Verticals (Full/Cover Page Sizes Available
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Antennarius sanguineus Gill, 1863, the Bloody Frogfish. Eastern Pacific; Sea of Cortez to Peru, including Cocos and Galapagos Islands. To 8.2 cm., or about three inches long. Found tucked into rocky crevices on walls, resembling and found around sponges of varying colors. Galapagos pix.

Antennarius striatus, Striated Frogfish. Tropical West Atlantic and Indo-Pacific; South Africa to Japan and New Zealand, in mud or sand bottoms, often associated with sponges. To seven inches. Aquarium and N. Sulawesi photos. Distinguished from the similar appearing A. hispidus by its worm-like esca. Many pseudonyms (28) exist for this species, including A. scaber. Males with more tufts/camouflage than females. 

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The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.
Histrio histrio (Linnaeus 1758), the Sargassum Anglerfish, or if it were up to me, "The Incredible Eater Upper"... To only 13 cm. but able to eat most any animal near its length. Known from all tropical oceans, typically found "floating" in kelp canopies or bits that are broken off. Aquarium photos, first by RMF, second by Mike Giangrasso. 

A deep water angler brought up in a scientific trawl. The SIO fish collection got an early Christmas present this week when a gentleman called from Carlsbad to say that he had found a most peculiar fish washed up on the beach in Del Mar. When we went up to pick it up we found that it was a very large deep-sea anglerfish. Back at the lab we identified it as Himantolophus danae, a species described in 1928, heretofore known only from a single 38mm specimen from the South China Sea. Deep sea anglers are characterized by an angling apparatus on the snout, with a luminous bait at the end. The bait, which contains luminous bacteria, may be variously elaborated, as in this species. This individual is a female; all male anglerfish are very small. In this species the males are free-living. The photograph was taken by Phil Hastings (the ruler is 15cm long). Richard Rosenblatt Scripps Institution of Oceanography
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla CA



To: Part 1, Part 2,

Bibliography/Further Reading:


Bavendam, Fred. 1998. Lure of the frogfish. National Geographic 7/98.

Emmens, C. W. 1985. Anglerfishes. TFH 10/85.

Freise, U. Erich. 1973. Anglerfishes. Marine Aquarist 4(5):73.

Goldstein, Robert J. 1987. The Frogfishes. With care, these are excellent tank fish. Pet Age 11/87.

Michael, Scott W. 1991. Commerson's Frogfish, Antennarius commersoni (Latrelle). FAMA 11/91.

Michael, Scott W. 1994. Anglin' fish. Fish that lure in their prey. AFM 9/94.

Michael, Scott W. 1995. Frogfishes: anglers of the reef. AFM 11/95.

Michael, Scott W. 1995. The frogfishes: species in the marine trade. AFM 12/95.

Michael, Scott W. 2004. The warty angler (Antennarius maculatus) (Desjardins 1844. Coral Magazine 2004, v. 2

Molter, Ted. 1983. Antennarius scaber Cuvier. FAMA 1/83.

Pietsch, Theodore W. & David B. Grobecker. 1985. Frogfishes: aggressive mimics of the reef. FAMA 4/85.

Pietsch, Theodore W. & David B. Grobecker. 1987. Frogfishes of the World. Systematics, zoogeography, and behavioral ecology. Stanford Press. 420pp. 

Severin, Kurt. 1960. The Angler among the fishes. TFH 1/60.

To: Part 1, Part 2,

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