Angler Fishes, Anglerfishes, Frogfishes, Sea Mice, Shore Anglerfishes
Compiler and date details
7 May 2015 - Dianne J. Bray, Douglass F. Hoese, Gerald R. Allen & Norbert J. Cross
24 March 2012 - Dianne J. Bray, Gerald R. Allen, Norbert J. Cross & Douglass F. Hoese
Antennariids are mainly confined to shallow tropical and subtropical seas, with a number of Australian species occuring in temperate waters. The family now includes 49 species and is represented in Australia by 27 species, referred to 11 genera, many of which are endemic. Here we follow Pietsch (1981) in placing Lophichthys boschmai in the famliy Lophichthyidae. The genus Tetrabrachium has also been removed from the Antennariidae and placed in the family Tetrabrachiidae following Pietsch (2005).
Anglerfishes are small, cryptic fishes well known for their ability to attract prey with their 'fishing lures': the modified first dorsal spine forms a slender 'fishing rod' with an enticing bait or lure at its tip, that sometimes resembles a marine worm, a shrimp or a small octopus. The bait is waved to and fro until an unsuspecting victim approaches. Once in close range, the victim is quickly engulfed. Species found in southern Australia produce large demersal eggs that are protected by the male until they hatch. Pietsch & Grobecker (1980) reported the unusual spawning habits of Lophiocharon trisignatus (as Antennarius caudimaculatus) in which a cluster of relatively large eggs is deposited on the skin of the male who carries them in this position until hatching. The maximum size of the Australian species ranges from about 15 to 25 cm standard length.
The family was revised extensively by Schultz (1957), but this work is considerably out of date. A generic classification of the shallow water anglerfishes was published by Pietsch (1984a). Pietsch (1984b) revised the Australian genus Rhycherus. Pietsch & Grobecker (1987) in their worldwide monograph included 43 species in 14 genera, and placed most species in the genus Antennarius. Arnold & Pietsch (2011) described a new species of Histiophryne from Queensland. Relationships were discussed by Pietsch (1984c) and Pietsch (1981) placed Tetrabrachium in a separate monotypic family and Lophichthys in the monotypic family Lophichthyidae. Pietsch (1999) treated species found in the Western Central Pacific. Pietsch (2008) treated species found in southern Australia. Arnold & Pietsch (2012) undertook a molecular phylogenetic study, recovering two major antennariid clades, the Antennariinae and the Histiophryninae, and moved a number of species from the genusAntennarius to Antennatus. Some species recorded from Lord Howe Island by Allen et al. (1975) could not be identified to species by Pietsch & Grobecker (1987).
McCulloch, A.R. & Waite, E.R. 1918. Some new and little known fishes from South Australia. Records of the South Australian Museum (Adelaide) 1(1): 39-78 figs 26-31 pls 2-7 [pl. 6 (fig. 2)]
Pietsch, T.W. 1984a. The genera of frogfishes (family Antennariidae). Copeia 1984(1): 27-44 fig. 1
Pietsch, T.W. 1984c. Lophiiformes: development and relationships. 320-325 figs 164-166 in Moser, H.G. et al. (eds). Ontogeny and Systematics of Fishes. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. Special Publication 1: 1-760
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.
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
Common Name References
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.  (FAO) (Frogfishes, Sea Mice)
Whitley, G.P. 1948. A list of the fishes of Western Australia. Western Australia Fish Department. Fisheries Bulletin 2: 1-35 map  (Angler Fishes)