Spawning Frogfish

Spawning Striated Frogfish by Ned DeLoach for
Male Striated Frogfish pushes egg-laden female up into water column

This image of spawning Striated Frogfish is not new. We wrote about our 2009 Blue Heron Bridge adventure in Alert Diver Magazine in an article we called “Caught in the Act” (you can click here to read it online). We were lucky to get the photos and video – it was a combination of being in the right place at the right time and recognizing what was about to happen. I’m posting it here because I just created a Blennywatcher video channel over on Vimeo, to share some of my favorite videos in HD.

While preparing the video I started looking at it frame by frame. Although courtship had been going on for a while and the spawning rise was fairly slow, once the female began to expel her egg raft, the little male started spinning to fertilize the eggs and the action was over – fast. It is really interesting that he seems to be wrapping himself in the egg raft, I suppose to maximize fertilization. The following set of images are frame captures from the video, where you can get some idea of how it happened. Don’t forget to check out the Vimeo version of the video at the end of this post – I re-edited it to slow down the actual spawn.

Spawning Frogfish1 Anna DeLoach
The female begins to expel her egg raft (video frame capture)
Spawning Frogfish3 Anna DeLoach
The male starts to spin as he fertilizes the eggs
Spawning Frogfish4 Anna DeLoach
He seems to be wrapping himself in the extruding egg raft
Spawning Frogfish5 Anna DeLoach
And the female spins in the opposite direction

Just for my Vimeo channel, I re-edited the video and  slowed down the spawning part. Check it out here: