Painted frogfish

Antennarius pictus

The painted frogfish or spotted frogfish, ''Antennarius pictus'', is a marine fish belonging to the family Antennariidae.
SCREAM! This Painted Frogfish - Antennarius pictus is seen with its mouth open, sometimes divers described this as yawn.  Frogfishes are favourite subject for underwater macro photographers as they can be difficult to find due to their camouflage.  They don't moves much, making it very easy to take close-up pictures of them.  However, if you have the patience and spend more time with them, they may not like the attention and will open their mouth as captured in this picture as a way to tell you to buzz off! lol Antennarius pictus,Cebu,Fish,Frogfish,Malapascua,Painted frogfish,Philippines

Appearance

The painted frogfish grows up to 30 centimetres long. Like other members of its family, it has a globulous, extensible body, with soft skin is covered with small dermal spinules. Its skin is covered partially with few, small, wart-like protuberances, some variably shaped, scab-like blotches and many small eye spots which look like sponges holes. Its large prognathous mouth allows it to consume prey its same size.

The coloring of the body is extremely variable because they always tend to match their living environments. Frogfishes have the capacity to change coloration and pigment pattern in few weeks. However, the dominant coloration goes from white to black, passing through a whole range of related nuances such as cream, pink, yellow, red, and brown, usually with circular eye spots darker than the background color and/or with saddles and blotches. Some specimens can easily be confused with ''Antennarius maculatus''.
These characteristics can help to separate the two close species: usually, ''A. maculatus'' has red or orange margins on all fins, and sometimes a spike of the saddle blotch starts posterior to the eye, numerous warts on the skin, andfew or no ocellis; ''A. pictus'' has also three eye spots on its caudal fin.
Juveniles can have a dark background color with small yellow spots.

The first dorsal spine, the illicium, is modified and is used as a fishing rod. Its extremity is endowed with a characteristic esca , which looks like a small fish with a pinkish to brownish coloration. The illicium is twice the length of the second dorsal spine and its often darkly banded. The second dorsal spine is practically straight and is mobile, and the third one is bent towards the back of the body; both are membranously attached to the head. They are well separated from each other and from the dorsal fin.

The pectoral fins are angled and help, with the pelvic fins, to move the frogfish on the bottom and to keep a stable position for ambush.
Painted Frogfish - Antennarius pictus Air Bajo 2, Lembeh.
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/68478/painted_frogfish_antennarius_pictus.html Antennarius pictus,Geotagged,Indonesia,Painted frogfish,Spring

Distribution

''Antennarius pictus'' lives in the tropical and subtropical waters from the Indo-Pacific area, Red Sea included. It is found on sheltered rocky and coral reefs, and adults are usually associated with sponges down to 75 m deep, with an average occurrence at 15 m .
Painted Frogfish - Antennarius pictus The Painted Frogfish - Antennarius pictus can be highly variable in colour and they are capable to change their colours within weeks to adapt to their surrounding.  However, the dominant coloration goes from white to black, passing through a whole range of related nuances such as cream, pink, yellow, red, and brown, usually with circular eye spots darker than the background color and/or with saddles and blotches.

Like all other Frogfishes species, they are ambush predators, sitting still for a long time waiting for their prey to swim pass and if need be, they can flick their 'lure' to attracts smaller fishes to them.  They can swallow prey as big as them. Anilao,Antennarius pictus,Batangas,Frogfish,Geotagged,Painted Frogfish,Philippines,Winter

Behavior

Like other members of its family, the painted frogfish has a benthic and solitary lifestyle. They gather during mating period, but do not tolerate each other any more after the act of fertilization. The male can kill or eat the female if she stays too close.
Painted Frogfish (Antennarius pictus) Madidir I, Lembeh.
Same baby, he was quite active, moving around. Antennarius pictus,Geotagged,Indonesia,Painted frogfish,Spring

Habitat

''Antennarius pictus'' lives in the tropical and subtropical waters from the Indo-Pacific area, Red Sea included. It is found on sheltered rocky and coral reefs, and adults are usually associated with sponges down to 75 m deep, with an average occurrence at 15 m .
Painted Frogfish (Antennarius pictus) Air Prang, Lembeh. 
A baby frog fish, only a few cm long. Antennarius pictus,Painted frogfish

Food

As all frogfishes, ''A. pictus'' is a voracious carnivore which can attack all small animals that pass within its "strike range", mainly fishes, but even sometimes congeners. Its prey can be close to its own size.

References:

Some text fragments are auto parsed from Wikipedia.

Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionChordata
ClassActinopterygii
OrderLophiiformes
FamilyAntennariidae
GenusAntennarius
SpeciesA. pictus