Tuberculate Anglerfish, Antennatus tuberosus (Cuvier 1817)

Other Names: Pygmy Angler, Pygmy Frogfish, Tuberculated Anglerfish, Tuberculated Frogfish

A Tuberculate Anglerfish, Antennatus tuberosus, at Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands. Source: Jeanette Johnson / FishBase. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial


A cream, yellow or slate grey to brown anglerfish, with dark-brown reticulations and marbling, a whitish, scab-like pattern on the face, conspicuous dark-brown band and a marginal dark marginal band on the anal and caudal fins, and no distinct tail base. The first dorsal-fin spine (illicium) is longer than the 2nd dorsal-fin spine and lacks a lure or esca to attract prey. This small species often hides amongst coral branches.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Thompson, V.J. 2020, Antennatus tuberosus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Jun 2024,

Tuberculate Anglerfish, Antennatus tuberosus (Cuvier 1817)

More Info


Northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Elsewhere, the species is widespread in the tropical Indo-west-central Pacific, from the Red Sea, East and South Africa, eastwards to the Marshall Islands and Tonga, and south to New Caledonia and Australia in the Western Pacific.

Inhabits coral reefs, from shallow reef flats to depths of 73 m, although mostly at shallower depths. Individuals often shelter amongst branching corals.


Dorsal fin III, 12; Anal fin 7-8; Pectoral fin 9-12.

Illicium long, 1.5-2 times longer than second dorsal spine, tapering to a non-filamentous simple tentacle lacking a distinct esca; 2nd dorsal-fin spine cylindrical, not tapering, straight to slightly curved posteriorly; 3rd dorsal-fin spine only a rounded bulge; caudal peduncle absent.

Scales absent, skin thick and firm, covered with close-set bifurcated spinules.

Prehensile pectoral fins with an ‘elbow’ joint; posterior-most margin of soft dorsal and anal fins attached to body at base of outermost rays of caudal fin; all rays of caudal fin bifurcated.


To 9 cm SL.


Body colour variable, typically cream or yellow (or slate grey) with dark-brown reticulations and marbling. Head with a whitish, scab-like pattern on face; anal and caudal fins with a conspicuous dark-brown band and marginal dark bands.


Carnivore - ambush predator


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


IUCN Red List: Not Evaluated

EPBC Act 1999: Not listed

Similar Species

The Tuberculate Anglerfish is only species in the genus Antennatus, that lacks a distinct esca. The illicium more or less tapers to a fine point.


Antennatus is from the Latin, antenna meaning sensory organ, in reference to the modified first dorsal spine.

Species Citation

Chironectes tuberosus Cuvier 1817, Mém. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat. Paris 3: 432, Mauritius.


Bray, D.J. & Thompson, V.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Tuberculate Anglerfish, Antennatus tuberosus (Cuvier 1817)


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

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

Cuvier, G. 1817. Sur le genre Chironectes Cuv. (Antennarius Commers.) Memoires du Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle (N. S.) (Série A) Zoologie 3: 418-435, Pls. 16-18.

Michael, S.W. (1998). Reef Fishes Volume 1. A Guide to Their Identification, Behaviour and Captive Care. Microcosm Ltd. Shellbourne, Vermont 624 pp.

Myers R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes: A Comprehensive Guide to the Coral Reef Fishes of Micronesia. Coral Graphics, Territory of Guam, U.S.A. 330 pp.

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 pp. 1397-2068. 

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. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific. New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press 707 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.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37210022

Depth:1-73 m

Max Size:9 cm SL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map