Marine life in El Nido – The Frogfish

The weird looking frogfish is perfect for Digital Underwater Photography as they often don’t move and can stay motionless for hours. If you sign up for the PADI Digital Underwater Photography Specialty course you will learn how to make nice shots of these fascinating creatures. But first you will need to find one!

Genus: Antennariidae
Depth: up to depths of 100 meters but some of the species can live in the deep sea were natural light is totally absent.

Diet: Carnivore
Size: can go from a few mm up to 30 centimeters.
Lifespan: up to 20 years.

The Frogfish – Weird and wonderful.

Frogfish rarely swim but rather walk on the seafloor using their modified pectoral fins. This is also one of the reasons why they are called frogfish. They seem to jump or bounce like frogs.

He is an ambush predator which hunts their prey by using the element of surprise. Once the prey is close enough they will swallow it in a blink of an eye (attack lasts 6 milliseconds). To attract their prey they will use a small lure on its head to attract other fish. This lure can regenerate in case of damage.

They can swallow prey that is 2 times bigger than themselves thanks to the ability to expand the mouth 12 times its normal size. They do not have teeth and they swallows their prey in one piece.

The Frogfish – Where and when can we see them in El Nido?

They can be almost find on any of our reefs but you need to have the eye for it. More can be spotted when the water is a bit colder. During the month of December, January and February the water temperature can drop down to 26 degree which seems the time we see more of them. Especially the hairy frogfish seems to come out.

One of best dive sites for these fish is our dive site Paradise beach. This dive site has a large sandy area with lots of rubble. The perfect hunting ground for these amazing creatures.

The Frogfish – Different species – From tiny to Giant and from ugly to beauty.

There are around 50 species with still new species to be discovered each with their own characteristics, size and colors. Let us give you a short list of our favorites.

The Painted Frogfish:

is probably one of the most common and can be find in many different colors and has been spotted on most of our dive sites.

The Hairy Frogfish:

doesn’t really have hair but these are adapted skin extremities which help to camouflage the fish and attract prey. We sometimes find this kind on our dive site Paradise Beach.

Marine Life in El Nido - Hairy Frogfish
Hairy Frogfish

The Giant frogfish:

is the largest and is therefore easier found by divers compared to its smaller brothers and sisters.

The Sargassum frogfish:

can sometimes be found clinging on and living on one of our mooring lines. They easily blend in with the algae and plants growing on the line.

Marine Life in El Nido - Sargassum Frogfish
Sargassum Frogfish

More information about diving with us:

The PADI Open Water course
The Digital Underwater Photography Specialty Course
Fun Dives in El Nido
What you will see?
How to get to El Nido