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Identification Key Frogfishes

Western Atlantic (incl. the Caribbean)

All frogfish species listed here are living in the Western Atlantic and are not striped.
For striped frogfishes living in the Western Atlantic click here.
For a overwiew of all frogfishes from this area click here.

If you are in the Western Atlantic and you find a frogfish which is larger than 12cm it has to be Fowlerichthys ocellatus, which is the largest frogfish here.

In the Western Atlantic there are two frogfishes that look very similar - Antennarius multiocellatus and Fowlerichthys ocellatus. The body of Antennarius multiocellatus is covered with ocelli (eye spots), Fowlerichthys ocellatus has only 3 large black ocelli, encircled by a lightly pigmented ring.

Antennarius multiocellatus (Longlure frogfish)

Antennarius multiocellatus - Longlure frogfish - Augenfleck Anglerfisch - Martín pescador, pescador caña larga

Information

11cm

Antennarius multiocellatus - Longlure frogfish - Augenfleck Anglerfisch - Martín pescador, pescador caña larga


Fowlerichthys ocellatus (Ocellated frogfish)

Antennarius ocellatus - Ocellated frogfish - Ocellus Anglerfisch - Pez rana manchado, pescador ocelado

Information

38cm

Antennarius ocellatus - Ocellated frogfish - Ocellus Anglerfisch - Pez rana manchado, pescador ocelado

If the lure is not visible or distinguishable it is nearly impossible to differ Antennatus nummifer from Antennatus bermudensis. The two frogfish species are very similar in color and basecally differ in that the second dorsal spine of Antennatus bermudensis is bent backwards and the luring apparatus has several slender filaments and dark swellings ar the base.

Antennatus bermudensis (Island frogfish) - Antennarius bermudensis

Antennarius bermudensis - Island frogfish - Bermuda Anglerfisch - Antenario

Information

6cm

Antennarius bermudensis - Island frogfish - Bermuda Anglerfisch - Antenario


Antennatus nummifer (Spotfin frogfish)

Antennarius 
        nummifer - Spotfin frogfish (coinbearing frogfish, whitefingered frogfish) - Rückenfleck Anglerfisch

Information

10cm

Antennarius 
        nummifer - Spotfin frogfish (coinbearing frogfish, whitefingered frogfish) - Rückenfleck Anglerfisch

These frogfishes are uncommon in the Western Atlantic:

Antennarius pauciradiatus has a membrane connecting the second and third dorsal spine.

Antennarius pauciradiatus (Dwarf frogfish)

Antennarius pauciradiatus - Dwarfed Frogfish - Zwergenhafter Anglerfisch - pescador enano

Information

1.5-5cm

Antennarius pauciradiatus - Dwarfed Frogfish - Zwergenhafter Anglerfisch - pescador enano

Only known to scientists

Fowlerichthys radiosus (Big-Eyed frogfish)

Information

11cm

Antennarius radiosus - Big-Eyed frogfish - Grossaugen Anglerfisch

This identification key is only for species of the subfamily Antennariinae (frogfishes, family Antennariidae, suborder Antennarioidei) which are frogfishes living in tropical and Subtropical waters.
Please take note, that this is a simplified identification key. Ichthyologists use tables with the number of dorsal, anal and pectoral rays, the length of the illicium and other distinguishing characteristics for means of identification.

I identified all frogfishes (anglerfishes) to my best knowledge. Frogfishes are specially difficult to identify (see tips for identification) so mistakes are possible of course! Please write to me, if you have any questions. Latin names according to the newest scientific findings, ITIS Standard Report and Fishbase.


. Copyright Teresa Zubi