Frogfish – The Masters of Camouflage at Lembeh’s Best Dive Sites

Frogfish – The Masters of Camouflage at Lembeh’s Best Dive Sites

Frogfish are masters of disguise – even on the black sands of the Lembeh Strait they manage to hide themselves among stray soft corals such as sponges, sea grass or by tucking themselves in behind rocks or debris with which they blend in with almost completely. Frogfish, a type of anglerfish, have a textured exterior that helps them to take on the appearance of their surroundings. Frogfish do not have scales – which other fish use as a form of protection and defence from predators, instead they rely entirely on their camouflage to keep them safe. There are numerous species of Frogfish in the Lembeh Strait and they differ in size, shape, colouration and texture. Our favourite include the Hairy frogfish, Painted, Warty and of course the Giant frogfish.

Here are five interesting Frogfish facts that you may not know:

1. Frogfish have a modified dorsal fin that has a retractable lure resembling a shrimp, which is used to attract their prey.

2. If a Frogfish’s lure is eaten or damaged by prey, it can regenerate (re-grow!)

3. Frogfish are carnivores. They eat fish, crustaceans and even other frogfish.

4. A frogfish’s mouth can expand to 12 times its resting size. This allows it to catch all sorts of prey.

5. Because frogfish lack a swim bladder, they use their modified pectoral fins to walk, or even gallop, across the seafloor.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHairy frogfish, Hergen©

painted frogfish, Steve Jones


If there is a certain species of Frogfish that you are hoping to see on your trip to the Lembeh Strait be sure to let your Lembeh Resort Dive Guide know (or write it on your wish list when you arrive – YES – we do have wish lists!). Our guides are experts at knowing which sites have which species at any given time and they will do their best to give you the sighting you have been hoping for! Diving in North Sulawesi and in the Lembeh Strait gives you access to some of the world’s best dive sites and Frogfish just love to hang out here!

Author by: Sarah Worlmad