Striate Anglerfish, Antennarius striatus (Shaw 1794)


Other Names: Blotched Anglerfish, Hairy Frogfish, Striated Anglerfish, Striated Frogfish, Striped Angler, Striped Anglerfish, Striped Frogfish

A Striate Anglerfish, Antennarius striatus, displaying its worm-like lure, in Lembeh Straits, north Sulawesi, Indonesia, January 2016. Source: Rickard Zerpe / Flickr. License: CC by Attribution-ShareAlike

Summary:

An ambush predator with a very long lure that resembles a marine worm. Although individuals vary greatly in colour and form, most have zebra-like markings and skin covered in long filamentous appendages.

Fantastic footage of Striate Anglerfish spawning

A Striate Anglerfish (aka Hairy Frogfish) eating a flounder, Engyprosopon grandisquama.

A pair of Striate Anglerfish 'walking' over the seafloor in Indonesia.

Slow motion footage of a Striate Anglerfish feeding.


Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Thompson, V.J. 2022, Antennarius striatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 28 Nov 2022, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/3832

Striate Anglerfish, Antennarius striatus (Shaw 1794)

More Info


Distribution

Perth, Western Australia, and Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea, throughout the Northern Territory, Queensland, and south to Merimbula, New South Wales; also the Lord Howe Province in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere, the species is widespread in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, except for the eastern Pacific.

Inhabits environments ranging from shallow estuaries to deeper reefs at depths to about 220 m. Most individuals occur in relatively shallow waters where they live on sandy, rocky or muddy bottoms, usually in areas with lots of sponges.

Features

Dorsal fin I, I, I, 11-12; Anal fin 7; Caudal fin 9; Pectoral fin 9-12 (rarely 9 or 12); Pelvic fin I, 5.

Esca with 2-7 elongate, cylindrical, worm-like appendages which may have a few filaments; bone supporting illicium extends in front of upper lip; skin with close-set bifurcated spinules, numerous cirri or small, slender, branched tentacles often present on head, body and fins.

Pectoral fins prehensile, with an ‘elbow-like’ joint; pelvic fins with a short, slender spine.

Size

To 25 cm total length.

Colour

Colour highly variable, usually light yellow to orange, but also green, red, grey, brown, or almost white with dark-brown to black irregular zebra-like bands or elongate blotches.

Solid-black individuals have been known to change colour to the yellow-striped phase over a period of about 5 weeks.

Males usually have longer skin filaments and are more intensely coloured than females.

Colour in preservative: beige, light-yellow, orange, dark yellow-brown to black. The illicium is usually darkly banded, and the worm-like escal appendages are occasionally reddish pink. Lighter-color phases usually have a series of darkly pigmented streaks radiating from the eye. Belly without elongate markings but usually with scattered, dark circular spots. Solid-black color phase with tips of pectoral rays white.

Feeding

Striate Anglerfish are ambush predators and feed mostly on other fishes. Their excellent camouflage allows them to hide amongst sponges where they lie almost motionless, only wriggling their worm-like fishing lure in front of the mouth. Unsuspecting fishes that approach to investigate the lure are rapidly engulfed.

Anglerfishes have enormous mouths and very expandable stomachs and can swallow very large prey items.

A Striate Anglerfish wriggling its lure.

Biology

The sexes are separate and females are usually larger than males. Fertilization is external, and females produce pelagic eggs in a transparent gelatinous floating 'scroll-shaped' mass or 'raft' where they remain embedded until hatching. Larvae remain in the plankton for one to two months before settling out onto the reef.

Fisheries

Although of no interest to fisheries, Striate Anglerfish are sometimes collected for sale in the aquarium industry.

Remarks

Striate Anglerfish often live in deeper, darker waters than many other members of the family Antennariidae. To help attract prey in deeper habitats, the esca contains special secretory cells that release an olfactory stimulus attractive to other fishes.

Similar Species

Although Antennarius striatus is most similar to Antennarius hispidus, it differs in having a slightly shorter illicium and two or more worm-like appendages on the esca or lure. The esca or lure of A. hispidus is shaped like a pom-pom.

Etymology

The specific name striatus is from the Latin stria (= line), in reference to the striped colour pattern of this species.

Species Citation

Lophius striatus Shaw 1794, The Naturalist's Miscellany 5: Pl. 175. Type locality: Tahiti, Society Islands [French Polynesia, South Pacific].

Author

Bray, D.J. & Thompson, V.J. 2022

Resources

Atlas of Living Australia

Striate Anglerfish, Antennarius striatus (Shaw 1794)

References


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls.

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp. 

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls.

Allen, G.R., N.J. Cross, D.J. Bray & D.F. Hoese 2006. Antennariidae. pp. 637-646 in Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35 Australia : ABRS & CSIRO Publishing Parts 1-3 2178 pp.

Arnold, R.J. & T.W. Pietsch 2012. Evolutionary history of frogfishes (Teleostei: Lophiiformes: Antennariidae): A molecular approach. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 62: 117-129.

Coleman, N. 1980. Australian Sea Fishes South of 30ºS. Lane Cove, NSW : Doubleday Australia Pty Ltd 309 pp.

Francis, M. 1993. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, southwest Pacific Ocean. Pacific Science 47(2): 136-170 figs 1-2

Francis, M.P. 2019. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk and Kermadec Islands, southwest Pacific Ocean, Version: 2019.1, https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4428305

Grant, E.M. 1975. Guide to Fishes. Brisbane : Queensland Government, Co-ordinator General’s Department 640 pp.

Grant, E.M. 2002. Guide to Fishes. Redcliffe : EM Grant Pty Ltd 880 pp.

Hutchins, J.B. 2001. Checklist of the fishes of Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 63: 9-50

Hutchins, J.B. & Swainston, R. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete field guide for anglers and divers. Perth : Swainston Publishing 180 pp.

Johnson, J.W. 1999. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 43(2): 709-762

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to sea fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp.

McEachran, J.D., Polanco Fernandez, A. & Russell, B. 2015. Antennarius striatus (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T16406979A115354869. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T16406979A16510007.en. Accessed on 11 June 2022.

Pietsch, T.W. 1984. The genera of frogfishes (family Antennariidae). Copeia 1984(1): 27-44 fig. 1

Pietsch, T.W. 1999. Families Antennariidae, Tetrabrachiidae, Lophichthyidae. pp. 2013-2019 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 3 1397-2068 pp.

Pietsch, T.W. & Arnold, R.J. 2020. Frogfishes. Biodiversity, zoogeography, and behavioral ecology. Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press: i-xiv + 1-601.

Pietsch, T.W. & Grobecker, D.B. 1987. Frogfishes of the World: Systematics, Zoogeography, and Behavioral Ecology. Palo Alto : Stanford University Press 420 pp.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs.

Sainsbury, K.J., Kailola, P.J. & Leyland, G.G. 1985. Continental Shelf Fishes of Northern and North-Western Australia. Canberra : Fisheries Information Service 375 pp. figs & pls.

Schultz, L.P. 1957. The frogfishes of the family Antennariidae. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 107(3383): 47-105 figs 1-7 pls 1-14 (described as Phrynelox zebrinus, type locality southern QLD and NSW border).

Shaw, G. & Nodder, F.P. 1794. The Naturalist's Miscellany, or coloured figures of natural objects; drawn and described from nature. London Vol. 5 pls 162–182, unnumbered pages. See ref at BHL

Steindachner, F. 1866. Zur Fischfauna von Port Jackson in Australien. Sitzungsberichte der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien. Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Klasse 53(1): 424-480 figs 1-7 (described as Antennarius pinniceps fasciata, type locality Port Jackson, NSW)

Whitley, G.P. 1934. Supplement to the check-list of the fishes of New South Wales. 12 unnumbered pages in McCulloch, A.R. (ed.) The Fishes and Fish-like Animals of New South Wales. Sydney : Roy. Zool. Soc. N.S.W. 104 pp. 43 pls. (described as Batrachopus insidiator, type locality Watsons Bay, Sydney Habour, NSW)

Whitley, G.P. 1957. A new angler fish. Western Australian Naturalist 5(7): 207-209 1 fig. [as Antennarius glauerti]

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37210009

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:2-219 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:25 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map