The sea is full of oddities, and the frogfish is definitely no exception. With a perpetually grumpy face, and strangely relatable “I ate too much” waddle, they make fantastic photography subjects, assuming you can find them. Frogfish are experts at blending in, some even slowly adapting their color to match their surroundings. Luckily for me though, this warty didn’t get the memo on camouflage.
I found this one head down in a pile of the paper-thin green algae of Secret Bay in the Northwest of Bali.
As I slowly approached, I realized it was luring or “fishing” for dinner. The lure in this case, is a fleshy appendage (the esca) at the end of a long rod (the illicium). As an ambush predator, this lure attracts small fish or shrimp into striking distance, at which they are promptly sucked into the cavernous jaws of the frogfish.
Like myself, the frogfish can consume something nearly as big as its body. With a mouth like this, it can take on some serious meals.
Waddling off, the froggie left to continue its hunt for food.