fishes text index | photo index
Phylum Chordata > Subphylum Vertebrate > fishes > Family Antennariidae
Spotted-tail frogfish
Lophiocharon trisignatus
Family Antennariidae
updated Nov 13

Where seen? This rotund fish with a woeful expression is hard to spot. It looks just like an algae-covered stone. Rather large, it is probably quite common but often overlooked. It is sometimes seen on some of our shores, near coral rubble and reefs as well as among rocks in deeper waters near seagrasses. One was seen 'climbing' among long Tape seagrass, clinging on with its 'paws'.

Features: To about 18cm, those seen range from tiny ones about 5cm long to large ones about 15cm long. It has pale translucent black-ringed spots on the tail fin. The body colour is highly variable. Lacks scales and has a loose prickly skin instead. It waddles over the surface using its pectoral fins which have 'elbows' and ends in grasping 'paws' that can clutch bits of rubble. It also has clasping pelvic fins on the underside of the body.

Like others in the family, it has a lure at the top of the head to attract prey within striking distance. We have observed one frogfish 'suck' small fishes into its huge mouth simply by opening it. The frogfish itself didn't move towards the prey! The capture is so rapid that it's over in a blink of an eye.

Sometimes mistaken for stonefish and scorpionfishes. Here's more on how to tell apart fishes that look like stones.

According to FishBase the father fish carries egg clusters attached to the side of his body, "either as brooding strategy or as aid in luring other fish for food". Motionless, his eggs will indeed look like a tasty snack on a stone. Any potential egg-snackers will of course be in danger of becoming a snack for papa frogfish!

Labrador, Jul 05

A lure that draws prey closer to the mouth

Pale translucent black-ringed spots.

Limb-like pectoral fins that resemble paws.

Clasping pelvic fins on the underside.

Spotted-tail frogfishes on Singapore shores


Changi, Jun 08

The lure

Spots on tail.

Elbow and clasping 'paws'.

No scales, a loose prickly skin instead.


Tanah Merah, Sep 09
Photo shared by James Koh on his blog.

Spotted-tail frogfishes on Singapore shores
Photos for free download from wildsingapore flickr
Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map


video clips and more photos of spotted-tail frogfishes on Singapore shores

*Species are difficult to positively identify without close examination.
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience of display.

Links
www.flickr.com
FREE photos of
marine fishes.
Make your own badge here.
links | references | about | email Ria
Spot errors? Have a question? Want to share your sightings? email Ria I'll be glad to hear from you!
wildfactsheets website©ria tan 2008