The Sargassum Fish (Histrio histrio) occurs worldwide in tropical and warm-temperate waters. In the western Atlantic, it is found from Massachusetts, Bermuda, and the northern Gulf of Mexico and West Indies to southeastern Brazil. (Boschung et al. 1983; Robins and Ray 1986) A small number of specimens have been collected on several occasions off the Kona coast of Hawaii. The discovery of two small juveniles (both about 10 mm SL) here indicates that these specimens are the products of a breeding population rather than migrants from the west. (Pietsch et al. 1992).
The Sargassum Fish has the broadest longitudinal and latitudinal range of any frogfish. Its distribution largely coincides with that of floating Sargassum Weed, with which it is apparently an obligate associate. In the western Atlantic, this species extends from the Gulf of Maine to the mouth of the Rio de la Plata, Uruguay. On the eastern side of the Atlantic, it is apparently quite rare; Pietsch and Grobecker (1987) reported specimens only from the Azores and off West Africa. An old record from Vardo, northern Norway, is likely based on a straggler carried northward by the North Atlantic and Norwegian currents. In the Indian Ocean, the Sargassum Fish is known from the tip of South Africa eastward to India and Sri Lanka, with verified records from the Red Sea, Madagascar, Reunion, and Mauritius. In the western Pacific and on the western margin of the Pacific plate, it occurs from Hokkaido, Japan, to tropical Australia (about as far south as Perth in the west and Sydney in the east), including Taiwan, the Philippines and Moluccas, and the southern coast of Papua New Guinea. There are rare but verified records from Guam, Tonga, New Caledonia, and the North Island of New Zealand. (Pietsch and Grobecker 1987; Pietsch et al. 1992 and references therein)
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