During our last fish store excursion, we found two very interesting fish. Residing in the aquariums of T&T Fish and Reef were a yellow frogfish (also called anglerfish) and a mottled yellow leaf scorpionfish, both of which are the stars of the latest AquaNerd video. The frogfish can be seen trying to entice small fish to come close by flicking its lure around in front of its mouth. The lure appendage is actually a modified dorsal fin, and it literally looks like a piece of fuzz on the end of a clear filament. But that’s not where the illusion stops. The frogfish looks remarkably like a yellow sponge, pores and all. On top of that, the fish remains completely still, moving only its lure back and forth. Any fish that gets too close will be immediately snatched up, assuming of course it isn’t too large. And sometimes the size of the prey can be somewhat surprising, as frogfish have been known to have eyes bigger than their stomachs. On a side note, to get the best view of the frogfish’s lure in the video above, crank up the resolution.
Details about the scorpionfish can be seen after the break.
Next up in the video is another lay and wait predator, but this this time is a scorpionfish. The leafy scorpionfish, as its name suggests, resembles a leaf. In the part of the world this species comes from, the seafloor is often littered with leaves from mangrove trees. The leaves blow around in the current, and so does the leaf mimicking scorpionfish. This behavior serves both defensive and offensive purposes, as it allows the fish to hide from predator and prey alike. Unlike the frogfish seen earlier in the clip, the scorpionfish doesn’t have a lure, so it must rely entirely on its cunning disguise to catch small fish that wander too close.