Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Amazing Mr. Frog

Frogfish, Orange Frogfish, Antennarius species. The frogfish is capable of walking (alternating fins forward) or "galloping" (two fins in unison) on its pectoral (and pelvic/ventral) fins and also of swimming. Young frogfish can even jet around by forcing water out of their gills!

Frogfish are also called angler fish because of the "bait" or lure that they can waive around to attract a good meal. The rod is called the illicium and the "bait," the esca, all part of a modified series of dorsal fins. When not in use, the illicium and esca can be withdrawn into a cavity between the second and third dorsal fins. When prey is successfully lured to the frogfish, the frogfish rapidly (6ms!) opens its mouth creating a sudden suction that draws the prey into its mouth. They can consume prey as big as themselves, even toxic lionfish, without ill effect.

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