Why is my dive buddy pointing boisterously at a group of sea urchins and chortling into his mouthpiece? But then suddenly my eyes focus and I also spot it - a brown Hairy Frogfish (A. striatus) crouching right in the middle of the sea urchins. With one fin it supports itself on the pointy spines, its long hairy skin appendages move like algae in the swell, and cardinalfishes swim unsuspectingly around the head. They don't realize they're the frogfish's next meal!
And now - how exciting - the frogfish lifts its rod, slowly unrolls the hidden lure over its head, and starts moving it. Suddenly a small worm appears over its head and dances around, wriggling up and down and beckoning, "Look at me, eat me!" A cardinalfish shows interest and approaches danger-ously near. The frogfish lowers the rod and wiggles the lure faster, enticing the cardinalfish to swim even closer to the hungry mouth.
Fortunately I am not a fish because I would be a sucker for this seemly tasty worm and would surely follow it to my doom. Instead this interesting behaviour piques my curiosity and I want to know - how does a frogfish choose a good place to ambush its prey? Why does this lure look like a worm but other lures look like small shrimps? Do observations like these help me when identifying a frogfish species?
This book intends to satisfy my readers' curiosity about these kinds of matters, bring some interesting and not widely known facts about frogfishes to their attention and reduce the level of frustration when it comes to identifying frogfishes as to genus and species.
About the author Teresa (Zubi) Zuberbühler
I am from Switzerland and I am diving since 1994. In these years I have made over 2000 dives, mostly in tropical (warm!) water. Since 1997 I take underwater pictures - look at my images on www.starfish.ch and for frogfish images go to www.frogfish.ch. I hope you enjoy my pictures!
I sent my frogfish book to several publishers, but they were not interested to print it. I must say I was a bit fustrated and put it aside for 2 years. On my holidays lots of divers have asked me about my book and motivated me to put it online. This year I decided to give it for free to anybody interested in frogfishes. Nowadays a lot of people have tablets or iPads so I decided to put it in a format you can read on a eReader, adding more images in the process.
The newest update of my book (2018) including the new scientific findings is found here.
Have fun with my Frogfish book!
2014/18 Teresa (Zubi) Zuberbühler