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Species profile—Halophryne queenslandiae (sculptured frogfish)


Animalia (animals) → Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) → Syngnathidae (pipefishes and seahorses) → Halophryne queenslandiae (sculptured frogfish)

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Species details

Animalia (animals)
Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Syngnathidae (pipefishes and seahorses)
Scientific name
Halophryne queenslandiae (De Vis, 1882)
Common name
sculptured frogfish
WildNet taxon ID
Conservation significant
Wetland status
Wetland Dependant Species
Pest status
Frogfish have tough, smooth skin and a large round head. They have broad mouths with bands of small sharp teeth. The body and head have fleshy papillae (small tentacle-like projections) in various places, particularly along the mouth and above the eyes. Halophryne species have more elaborate papillae above the eyes and the gill slit is shorter and higher placed in relation to the pectoral fin (behind the gill). The sculptured frogfish have multi-lobed papillae on the head and body. The pectoral fin is very large and there is a wide, slightly concave gap between the eyes. This species grows to 30cm in length.
The sculptured frogfish is endemic to Australia. It is found in tropical marine waters from Dunk Island, northern Great Barrier Reef to the mouth of the Brisbane River, Queensland and northern New South Wales.
Distributional limits
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Species environment
The sculptured frogfish is found on sand bottoms, hiding under objects such as rocks or coral. They are found at depths of 15m or more.
The frogfish's drab colour and patterning allows them to blend perfectly with their surroundings while they sit motionless on the ocean floor waiting for prey to pass by. They are able to use their swim bladder to make loud croaking noises.
The female lays the eggs in a nest, which may be a rocky cave, an empty shell or a discarded jar. Eggs may also be deposited on the ceiling of narrow or low overhangs that serve as nests. The female departs after laying the eggs, and the male cares for the young until they can fend for themselves. Frogfish produce few eggs, so this paternal care is important for the species survival.
Frogfish feed on various invertebrates (octopuses, crabs, prawns and shellfish) which are swallowed whole. Their stomach is expandable to accommodate large prey.
Contributors: Mellisa Mayhew 18/07/2008; Wayne Martin 09/11/2008
Egerton, L. (ed.) (2005). Encyclopedia of Australian Wildlife, (Revised Edition). Readers Digest Pty Ltd, Sydney.
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 35.1, p. 632. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Collingwood.
Kuiter, R.H. (1996). Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland Ltd, Sydney.
McGrouther, M. (2006). Find a Fish: Sculptured Frogfish, Halophryne queenslandiae (De Vis, 1882). Australian Museum, Sydney, accessed 18/07/2008, [].
Profile author
Mellisa Mayhew (09/11/2008)

Other resources

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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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last updated
8 March 2022
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