Warty Angler - Antennarius maculatus
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The Warty Angler (Antennarius maculatus, also known as the Warty Frogfish or Clown Angler of Frogfish) is distinctive and a popular prize when available. Though its coloration is highly variable, it usually is found with a white or yellow base color and reddish-brown patches. Its entire body is covered by warty-like bumps. The lure is flattened with vertical stripes and an eyespot to resemble a small fish or shrimp. The illicium (the rod part of the lure) is very long. The dorsal spines are "webbed" and attached to the body.
The common names "Anglerfish" and "Frogfish" are often used interchangeably. The fish available to the aquarium trade are very different from the deepwater Anglers featured in Disney's "Finding Nemo" that use a bright light to lure their prey. The Frogfish and Anglerfish for aquariums are found around reefs and rockwork where they blend in to ambush their prey. Like their deepwater counterparts, they do use a lure to attract prey but their lure looks more like a pom-pom or worm, depending on the species.
These fish are often difficult to identify down to an exact species because of their very high variation in colors and patterns. They can also often change color and pattern to better blend in with their surroundings. With a few distinctive exceptions, most are extremely variable and may be different than the example pictured here. Many anglers and frogfish are identified by the shape of their esca (the "lure") and their illicium (the "fishing rod" part that holds up the lure).
Anglers and Frogfish are ambush predators and can eat almost anything small enough to fit into their (very large) mouths. This can include other fish as well as inverts like crabs, shrimp and others. Use caution when choosing tankmates. These fish are not very active and can be kept in a fairly small tank (depending on species) and can be kept alone as a "species-only" showcase.
They will typically eat almost any meaty foods offered but may only accept live items at first. Though they should be weaned onto frozen at some point, live ghost shrimp, mollies, guppies and similar items can be used at first. Eventually, they can be trained to accept frozen clam, squid, shrimp, krill and similar items. It is not unusual for these fish to fast the first few days to even weeks once introduced to a new environment or after a particularly large feeding.
Visit That Fish Blog for an Anglerfish Species Profile and information on Anglerfish Breeding Habits from our on-staff marine biologists!
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|Specific Gravity Range
|Max Size (in inches)
|Yes, with larger fish only
|Min Tank Size (in gallons)
|Easy to Moderate
|Armed Forces Americas
|Armed Forces Europe
|Armed Forces Pacific