Angler Fishes, Anglerfishes, Frogfishes, Sea Mice, Shore Anglerfishes
Compiler and date details
Gerald R. Allen, Norbert J. Cross, Dianne J. Bray & Douglass F. Hoese
Antennariids are mainly confined to tropical seas, but in Australia they also occur in temperate waters. Pietsch & Grobecker (1987) in their worldwide monograph included 43 species in 14 genera; most genera contain only one or two species, except Antennarius which has 24 species. The family is represented in Australia by 27 species, belonging to 13 genera, including five temperate endemic genera.
Anglerfishes are cryptic inhabitants well known for their ability to attract prey (usually small fishes) with their 'fishing rod'; the modified first dorsal spine forms a slender 'fishing rod' with an enticing bait at its tip, that sometimes resembles a marine worm 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. Pietsch & Grobecker (1980) reported the unusual spawning habits of Lopbiocharon 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The family was extensively revised by Schultz (1957), but this work is now considered out of date. A generic classification of the shallow water anglerfishes was published by Pietsch (1984a). Pietsch (1984b) revised the Australian genus Rhycherus. Relationships were discussed by Pietsch (1984c) and Pietsch (1999) placed Tetrabrachium in a separate monotypic family and Lophichthys in the family Lophichthyidae.
Pietsch, T.W. 1984a. The genera of frogfishes (family Antennariidae). Copeia 1984(1): 27-44 fig. 1
Pietsch, T.W. 1984b. A review of the frogfish genus Rhycherus with the description of a new species from Western and South Australia. Copeia 1984(1): 68-72 figs 1-4
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 1397-2068 pp.
Pietsch, T.W. & Grobecker, D.B. 1980. Parental care as an alternative reproductive mode in an antennariid anglerfish. Copeia 1980(3): 551-553 figs 1-2
Pietsch, T.W. & Grobecker, D.B. 1987. Frogfishes of the World: Systematics, Zoogeography, and Behavioral Ecology. Palo Alto : Stanford University Press 420 pp.
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
Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.  (Anglerfishes)
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.  (FAO) (Frogfishes, Sea Mice)
Pollard, J. (ed.) 1980. G.P. Whitley's Handbook of Australian Fishes. North Sydney : Jack Pollard Publishing Pty Ltd 629 pp.  (Shore Anglerfishes)
Whitley, G.P. 1948. A list of the fishes of Western Australia. Western Australia Fish Department. Fisheries Bulletin 2: 1-35 map  (Angler Fishes)