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Introduction

Frogfishes of the family Antennariidae are typically small, globose anglerfishes easily distinguished from members of allied families by the presence of three well-developed dorsal spines, laterally directed eyes, a large, anterodorsally directed mouth, and a short, laterally compressed body (Pietsch, 1981). They share with other familes of the teleost order Lophiiformes a peculiar and unique mode of feeding that is characterized most strikingly by the structure of the first dorsal spine, which is placed out on the tip of the snout and modified to serve as a luring apparatus.

Frogfishes spend the greater part of their lives squatting on the bottom in shallow to moderately deep water, or as in the case of the single genus Histrio, clinging to floating sargassum. Despite their rather sedentary nature, all are voracious carnivores that wait patiently for smaller fishes or crustaceans to pass by, while they wriggle their bait to entice prey close to their cavernous mouths. Antennariids occur in all major tropical seas of the world except the Mediterranean. The family consists of 12 genera and 43 species.

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