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Species profile—Batrachomoeus trispinosus (threespine frogfish)


Animalia (animals) → Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) → Syngnathidae (pipefishes and seahorses) → Batrachomoeus trispinosus (threespine frogfish)

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Species details

Animalia (animals)
Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Syngnathidae (pipefishes and seahorses)
Scientific name
Batrachomoeus trispinosus (Günther, 1861)
Common name
threespine frogfish
WildNet taxon ID
Conservation significant
Wetland status
Wetland Dependant Species
Pest status
This species is easily recognized by their broad, flattened head with fleshy flaps attached to it. The frogfish are generally brown in colour, often with black spots, bars or other markings. With eyes on the top side of their head, they have an unusually wide mouth with moderately strong teeth present, both in their jaws and on the roof of their mouth. The frogfish have two dorsal fins with sharp spines. This species grows to a standard length of approximately 26cm.
The threespine frogfish inhabits areas from the Northern Territory east to Cape York and south to the Maroochy River in Queensland. Extralimitally the species occurs widely in the Indo-West Pacific from Thailand through the Indo-Malay Archipelago and Papua New Guinea.
Distributional limits
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Species environment
This species is known to inhabit reefs, mangrove estuaries, and offshore trawling grounds. The frogfish are bottom dwellers that shelter in crevices or under rocks, or bury themselves in sand or mud.
This species is found from intertidal areas near mangroves, estuaries and reefs down to depths of 36m. Several species have been found to enter rivers, and some migrate regularly between shallow and deep waters feeding mainly on molluscs and crustaceans. They are sluggish in their movements and prefer to lay in wait for their prey, relying on a surprise attack, rather than using excess energy through hunting.
Contributors: Danielle Hansen 17/07/2008; Wayne Martin 09/11/2008
Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. (1988). The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia: A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Western Australian Museum, Perth. Pp. 201.
Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). (1999). FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. Volume 3. Batoid fishes, chimaeras and bony fishes part 1 (Elopidae to Linophrynidae). FAO, Rome. pp. 1397-2068. Accessed 17/07/2008, []
Froese, R. & Pauly, D. (eds). (2008). FishBase, version (09/2008). World Wide Web electronic publication, Accessed 09/11/2008 .
Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R., & Allen, G.R. (2006). Fishes. In: Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35, Part 1. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood.
Kottelat, M., Whitten, A.J., Kartikasari, S.N., & Wirjoatmodjo, S. (1993). Freshwater Fishes of Western Indonesia and Sulawesi. Periplus Editions, Hong Kong. Pp. 221.
Rainboth, W.J. (1996). Fishes of the Cambodian Mekong. FAO Species Identification Field Guide for Fishery Purposes. FAO, Rome, p.265.
ZipcodeZoo (2008). Batrachomoeus trispinosus (Threespine Stickleback). BayScience Foundation, Bethesda. Accessed 17/07/2008, [>.
Profile author
Danielle Hansen (09/11/2008)

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Data source

This profile data is sourced from the QLD Wildlife Data API using the Get species by ID function used under CC-By 4.0.

This information is sourced from the WildNet database managed by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.

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Last updated
20 May 2024