An Easy Guide to Frogfish Species

By Justin Carmack

Last updated on Feb. 12. 2019. 

Frogfish are one of my favorite things to run into on a dive, and I’ve heard many other divers say the same thing! They not only are the perfect photo subjects, because they don’t move much, but they are also one of the cutest critters in the seas! 

I like them so much, that when I first arrived in Southeast Asia and dove the likes of Indonesia and Philippines, amazing places to find a variety of frogfish species, that I completely fell in love them. 

From Indonesia to Malaysia to Philippines and beyond, it’s a frogfish paradise out there! I even took a PADI frogfish speciality course in Dauin, just to learn even more about what I was seeing. 

This guide doesn’t cover every species of frogfish, but we will continue to keep adding more, as we are able to get more  information and photos! 

Glauert’s Frogfish

Allenichthys glauerti 

Western and southern Australia

Allenichthys glauerti 
Photo Source: Jacob Loyacano | frogfish.ch

The Glauert’s Frogfish is only found in the Eastern Indian Ocean, off the coasts of Australia, from Beagle Islands, Western Australia to Kangaroo Islands, South Australia. Usually found in shallow reef areas and piers, but it has also been caught by fishing nets at over 150m deep.

This species can grow up to 19cm.

frogfish species

Twinspot Frogfish

Antennarius biocellatus

Nearly all of Southeast Asia 

Antennarius biocellatus
Photo Source: Christian Dauer | frogfish.ch

This guy is found around almost all of Southeast Asia, from Papua New Guinea to Myanmar to Vietnam, but he likes to live in brackish water where divers don’t like to go, so is relatively unknown to most.

This species can grow up to 12-14cm.

frogfish species

Giant/Commerson’s Frogfish

Antennarius commerson

Along the equator from E. Africa to Ecuador

Antennarius commerson
Image source: Oksana Golubeva | Shutterstock

Despite the name, the giant frogfish is not the biggest, but the second biggest out there. He is very common and can be found everywhere along the equator from the Red Sea, Eastern Africa, all the way to Ecuador and everything in between. I see him around Philippines all the time. 

This species can grow up to 30cm.

frogfish species

Rosy Frogfish

Antennatus Rosaceus

Found all over Southeast Asia, and northern Australia, and some in Red Sea

Rosy Frogfish
Image source: Teresa Zubi | frogfish.ch

Also known as the Spiny-tufted Frogfish. It is not very well known at all, and hard to distinguish from other species, except by experts. If you have photos or more information about the Rosy, let us know! 

This species can grow up to 4cm.

frogfish species

Bougainville’s Frogfish

Histiophryne bougainvilli

Found only in the southern coast of Australia

Histiophryne bougainvilli
Image source: Dave Harasti

Known only to a few ichthyologists, there is not a lot of information out there about this frogfish, or photos. So if you have more of either, let us know!

This species can grow up to 6cm.

frogfish species

Marble-Mouthed Frogfish

Lophiocharon Lithinostomus

Found only in Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia area

Marble-Mouthed Frogfish
Image source: Teresa Zubi

This guy is named because of the marbled coloration in the inside of its mouth, many times in purple like the photo above. It is a rare species to find, but it has been seen in a few locations in Philippines and Borneo. 

This species can grow up to 9cm.

frogfish species

Painted Frogfish

Antennarius pictus

Quite common from Eastern Africa to the Pacific

painted frogfish
Image source: Daniel Geary | Atmosphere Resorts

This is a very common frogfish throughout the Pacific, Southeast Asia and Indian Ocean. It was one of the most common ones I find around Philippines, but it is easy to confuse it with the clown frogfish.

This species can grow up to 10-16cm.

frogfish species

Hairy Frogfish

Antennarius Striatus

Equatorial regions of Africa, Asia, Pacific and Caribbean

hairy frogfish
Image source: Oksana Maksymova | Shutterstock

The hairy frogfish is one of my favorite ones to find, as they are so unique looking. They aren’t super rare, especially in Southeast Asia, but they are still one of the most coveted frogfish to find. 

This species can grow up to 18-22cm

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frogfish species

Pygmy Frogfish

Antennatus Linearis

Between Eastern Africa to the mid-Pacific region

Antennatus linearis
Image source: Ron Holcolm | frogfish.ch

This species was just recently discovered and is known only to a few ichthyologists, however, it has been seen from Indonesia to Hawaii. It can be recognized by it’s lined colors. If you do find one, make sure to get a photo and send it to us! 

This species can grow up to 7.5cm.

frogfish species

Tuberculated Frogfish

Antennatus Tuberosus

Between Eastern Africa to the mid-Pacific region

Tuberculated Frogfish
Image source: John E. Randall | Fishbase.se

Also known as a pygmy frogfish, this guy is pretty small, and hard to find, although rewarding when you do. As you can see this species is colorful, and your best bet to find one might be around Hawaii. 

This species can grow up to 7cm.

frogfish species

Psychedelic Frogfish

Histiophryne Psychedelica

Found only in Ambon, Indonesia so far. Rare

Psychedelic Frogfish
Image source: Dan Geary | Atmosphere Resorts

This must be the craziest looking frogfish there is, and many divers consider it the holy grale of them all. Found only around the small island of Ambon, in Easter Indonesia, and rarely even there, this is one frogfish you need to have on your bucketlist. 

This species can grow up to 6-9cm.

frogfish species

Lembeh Frogfish

Nudiantennarius Subteres

Found from Indonesia all the way up to Japan

lembeh frogfish
Image source: Dan Geary | Atmosphere Resorts

This guy is found mostly in Indonesia and Philippines, and is easily identified by their one big spot on their back/fin. 

This species can grow up to 5-6cm

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frogfish species

Bare Island Frogfish

Porophryne Erythrodactylus

Found only around Bare Island in Botany Bay, New South Wales

Bare Island Frogfish
Image source: Fishes of Australia

Also called the Red-footed Frogfish and the Sydney Frogfish, this tiny guy has a very small range, only found around Botany Bay in Australia. Although they are prevelant enough in their small area, they are relatively rare in the world stage. 

This species can grow up to 7.5cm.

frogfish species

Shaggy Frogfish

Antennarius Hispidus

Found around E. Africa and Equatorial Asia, most of Australia

Shaggy Frogfish
Image source: Niki Weidinger | Frogfish.ch

This ugly/cute guy is also called a Hispid Frogfish, and it really lives up to it’s name, and looks like a shaggy mess! You can find this guy around SE Asia and the Indian Ocean, although it can be pretty hard to find as they are a bit rare. 

This species can grow up to 15-20cm

frogfish species

Clown Frogfish

Antennarius Maculatus

Found around Southeast Asia and Indian Ocean

clown frogfish
Image source: Dan Geary | Atmosphere Resort

The clown frogfish, also called the warty frogfish, is common around Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines, and is a favorite for divers because of its bright colors. Dauin in Philippines is known to have a large amount of them, including the one pictured above. 

This species can grow up to 8-10cm.

frogfish species

Longlure Frogfish

Antennarius Multiocellatus

Found from Florida to Brazil, the Caribbean and Atlantic

Antennarius multiocellatus
Image source: Ellen Muller

This guy comes in a lot of different colors, and slowly changes to match its surroundings, like most frogfish. This is one of the few frogs on the list that are in the Atlantic and Caribbean areas. 

This species can grow up to 8-10cm.

frogfish species

Leopard Frogfish

Antennarius Pardalis

Found only around western Africa, mainly Senegal. 

Antennarius pardalis
Image source: Susana Martins

You will be really lucky to find this frogfish, as it can only be found in Western Africa, in places such as Senegal and Cape Verde. Since there are not a lot of dive sites in the areas, so these spotted beauties were mostly found in fishing nets. 

This species can grow up to 8-10cm.

frogfish species

Dwarfed Frogfish

Antennarius Pauciradiatus

Found rarely in Atlantic

Dwarfed Frogfish
Image source: Les Wilk | frogfish.ch

This little dude, and I mean tiny, is really rare and only known by few ichthyologists in the world. There is not a lot known about this one, and if you find one, send us photos! 

This species can grow up to 1.5-5cm

frogfish species

Randall’s Frogfish

Antennarius Randalli

Found in Southeast Asia and Pacific, and even the Red Sea

Image source: Mike Workman | Shutterstock

The Randall’s is relatively common, but is one of the smallest species there is, even smaller than the dwarf. Although it is so hard to find because of it’s tiny size, it is most common in Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines. Like most frogfish, their color adapts to their surrounding when they are young. They do have white spots though, that make them easier to identify. 

This species can grow up to 1.5-2cm

frogfish species

Side-Jet Frogfish

Antennatus Duescus

Found only in Hawaii

Antennatus duescus
Image source: John E. Randall | frogfish.ch

This fish is rare, tiny, and only found in Hawaii so far. It has a distinctive hole on its sides near its anal fin, where it can shoot out water to maneuver. More information is needed for this one, so let us know if you have any.

This species can grow up to 3cm

frogfish species

Freckled Frogfish

Antennatus Coccineus

Common in equatorial regions from E. Africa all the way to South American Pacific

Freckled frogfish
Image source: Dan Geary | Atmosphere Resort

Often confused with the spotfin frogfish, the freckled is common, but sometimes hard to find as it likes to hide in holes and crevasses. It is very common in the Indian Ocean, SouthEast Asia and much of the Pacific.  

This species can grow up to 9-13cm

frogfish species

New Guinea Frogfish

Antennatus Dorehensis

From Eastern Africa to Pacific Ocean, with S.E Asia in between

New Guinea frogfish
Image source: Teresa Zubi | frogfish.ch

Although it seems to have a large range, in the equatorial regions of Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia and the Pacific, it is actually rare to find. It doesn’t help that it is a tiny species, with great camouflage. 

This species can grow up to 2.5-5cm

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