Sunday, May 17, 2015

Commerson's frogfish seen at Honaunau

A few months back I encountered this medium-sized Commerson's frogfish (Antennarius commerson) at the north end of Honaunau Bay. I was able to get some decent photos including this one of it swimming.

Frogfish aren't built for swimming but are wondrously well adapted for sitting still, so to see this one swim for a short distance was interesting. While sorely lacking in either speed or endurance, the frogfish has an ingenious form of propulsion wherein it forces jets of water from ducts under its "arms" (pectoral fins) to give it an extra boost.

Also kind of cool (to me) is this final shot where you can see the thin spine sprouting from the forehead with a bushy "lure" at the end. The lure is called an esca and is jiggled by the frogfish to lure unsuspecting prey close to its generously-sized mouth. And thus, the Circle of Life remains unbroken.  Hakuna Matata!

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