I haven’t written a frogfish blog in awhile, terrible I know and I apologize, so in honor of this year’s baby frogfish season I have decided to go into my archives and take a look back at some of my all time baby frogfish encounters. I have seen hundreds and hundreds of frogfish in my time working at Atmosphere Resorts & Spa, with around 400 different individuals encountered in 2016 alone, but luckily a few baby frogfish really stand out in my memory.
One of my favorite baby frogfish is a juvenile red painted frogfish, around 1 cm, that I found at Pyramids dive site last year. It was on a sandy slope, perfect for a peso coin shot. This frogfish was the perfect size and in the perfect position, and to this day is the best peso shot I have taken. It won me an honorable mention in the international Ocean Art online photo competition and currently has over 15,000 likes on my facebook photography page www.facebook.com/meanguignphotography. I have tried to emulate the photo but no baby frogfish that I have seen has been the right size and position to get the same quality shot.
Another memorable baby frogfish was my favorite coloration – black with orange polka dots and a blue outline. Normally a baby with this coloration is found in the sand, which does not provide a desirable background for a photograph. At Ceres dive site two years ago, we had two of them living on a mooring block, and they were normally found resting on bright pink sponges, which really made their body patterns stand out.
I could go on and on choosing my favorite baby frogfish encounters, but I will include one more. This last special baby frogfish was a sargassumfish and I found it in Raja Ampat during a night dive on Atmosphere’s liveaboard trip in May of this year. I was looking for a walking shark (yes, that’s a real kind of shark only found in Raja Ampat) in 2 meters of water and saw a tiny strand of sargassum floating by on the surface. I decided to give it a look and found a tiny white sargassumfish staring back at me. What a find!
We see sargassumfish quite often outside here at Atmosphere Resort in Dumaguete, when the seaweed comes floating in with the tides. Make sure to filter through the seaweed when you are waiting on the surface for your boat to pick you up, you never know if there might be a little sargassum baby hiding in there.
Your Marine Biologist /Daniel Geary