It has been so great to see how fascinated our Snorkel Venture guests are becoming with frogfish. The frogfish was really not on the radar for many snorkelers. With muck snorkeling becoming ever more popular, the frogfish is starting to become a must find. With their incredible camouflage and bizarre looks it is great when we find them. For our best places to see them, Indonesia is definitely at the top. With great chances to find them in all our Indonesia Snorkel Venture trips.For me one of my favourite places to find them is in Alor. Alor is not only famed for its stunning reefs, but also regarded as one of the best muck areas in Indonesia. For those not sure what muck snorkeling is we have a great previous blog by Alex explaining (What is muck snorkeling) all about it. With eagle eyed guides we always hope we can find them on the reefs or in the muck. With them coming in all different shapes, colours and sizes. Frogfish are part of the Antennariidae family, which is a type of anglerfish that includes about 50 different species. They’re found in ocean waters all over the world and have a wide range of shapes and sizes. They have modified pectoral fins that resemble hands, which allow them to “walk” along the ocean floor looking for prey. The astonishing camouflage is called a type of aggressive mimicry, a strategy of resembling something else to gain an advantage over your prey. This means potential prey, like small fish or crustaceans, can pass by and never see the well camouflaged frogfish, allowing them to attack the prey at a close range.
Frogfish have a dangling lure, which is a type of modified fin called an illicium. It can resemble a worm or shrimp that lures in other fish or crustaceans. They are considered ambush predators because they blend in and strike when the moment is right. Since it all happens at lightning speed, they are indiscriminate feeders and will eat almost anything that passes by, even if it is larger than the frogfish’s mouth. Frogfish can enlarge its mouth up to 12 times its original size to engulf a meal.
The best part about finding frogfish is, they think you cant see them. Due to their camouflage. So when we do find them we can observe and take our time to watch. They are one of my favourite sea creatures to photograph. Its so great to see how much interest is being shown to such a wide variety of obscure species now. When looking out for them look into all the nooks and crannies, and frogfish love to blend into soft corals.