Diary of a critter: Frogfish

I’m a little fishy, in a little dishy, when the frogfish comes in !!




One of the muck diving critter all-stars has to be the cryptic frogfish, these angler fish are a massive highlight on any muck divers wish list and here in Indonesia you can find an amazing variety of frogfish in all shapes sizes and colours. With their exquisite camouflage making them almost impossible to spot amongst the coral, weed, sponges, sea squirts and rubble when you do finally stumble upon a frogfish the feeling of excitement is immense.




A freak of nature the frogfish is an ambush predator without rival, using mimicry, camouflage and its very own inbuilt fishing rod to ambush and lure prey towards its mouth. With reactions faster than 6 milliseconds gobbling up the prey cannot even be seen by the human eye, its so fast, here one millisecond and literally gone the next, in fact the speed of the frogfish attack is so fast it is still a mystery in science. The frogfish muscles used to extend the mouth at such dazzling speed cannot even contract that quickly so scientists are still bemused as to how it’s even possible!!




In almost all the frogfishes, apart from the psychedelic frogfish, a fishing rod appendage with a shrimp or worm like lure protrudes from the forehead, this can moved, and teased,  at leisure by the frogfish to lure and bait prey within striking distance, this weapon is so efficient when combined with the amazing speed of the attack that frogfish have developed to be very lazy animals preferring to crawl around on two pectoral fins, when they decide move at all which is seldom, rather than swim. However if really pushed they can ‘swim short distances’ by waggling the tail fin and swim/bounce along in a truly ridiculous fashion.




The superstars here in Indonesia include the beautiful hairy frogfish, clown frogfish, painted frogfish, giant frogfish, sargassum frogfish and the extremely rare psychedelic frogfish (below) which was only recently rediscovered in Ambon by the eagle eyed Philippa ‘Flipper’ Dean from All4diving, Flipper is one of the very, very few people alive on the planet today who have actually seen this marvellous creature up close and personal in the wild !!!




Here at All4Diving our guides are experts at finding the critters and with our very popular 3 & 4 day Bali muck safaris you will get the very best chance to dive the best Bali muck sites that boast these amazing and mysterious creatures and many, many, more!!