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Angler frogfish have neon-glow worm lures

By Leonard Ho - Posted Nov 18, 2016 09:00 AM
You likely know about the wiggly lures some frogfish use to entice prey to come within striking distance so the frogfish can easily ambush them. It turns out the lures of Antennarius striatus glow under actinic lighting, further enhancing their deadly seduction.
Angler frogfish have neon-glow worm lures

(b) Antennarius striatus under blue light. (c) Fluorescencing worm swimming next to the frogfish.

Using high intensity blue LED torches with yellow filters while night diving, researchers observed three frogfish with worm-shaped lures (known as esca) that fluorescenced bright orange.  Furthermore, free-swimming worms, which were the same size as the esca and glowed the same shade of orange, were also observed swimming right next to these lures.

Frogfish are famous for their ability to camouflage and mimic their surroundings.  This discovery shows they are even greater masters of disguise and deception than we ever knew.

Antennarius striatus under normal light

(a) Antennarius striatus under normal light; its flesh-colored "worm lure" is clearly visible above its head.

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.

Website: http://www.advancedaquarist.com.

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