Antennarius scaber

Common Name

Splitlure Frogfish

Year Described

Cuvier, 1817


Dorsal Fin: III, 12
Anal Fin: 7
Pelvic Fin: 5
Pectoral Fin: 10-11
Caudal Fin: 9 bifurcate rays
Vertebrae: 19

Body globose and rough with a large terminal mouth that is strongly oblique. Distal two-thirds of maxilla tucked under folds of skin; front tip spinose. Illicium well developed and naked (14-22% SL). Illicium about the length of second dorsal spine. Esca consists of two long bifurcated appendages. Second dorsal spine membrane without naked/spiny portions. Pectoral fin lobe attached. Only last pelvic fin ray bifurcate (rest simple). Caudal peduncle present (rear dorsal rays not attached to caudal fin by membrane). Pseudobranch present. Dermal spinules bifurcate. Body can be heavily decorated with fleshy flaps or completely naked of them.


The most variable of all Atlantic frogfishes: ranges from plain black to brown with a dramatic pattern of black stripes/bands and fleshy tassles. Also has phases devoid of tassles but are brown, white, bluish, red, yellow, or orange with many ocellated or non-ocellated dark spots. This species does not have any markings consistent to all individuals.


A medium sized species: reaches 210mm SL.


Coral reefs, sand flats, and rubble from 0-219m.


Found from New York (vagrants) to S. Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Also Bermuda.


Pietsch, T.W. & Arnold, R.J. 2020. Frogfishes: Biodiversity, Zoogeography, and Behavioral Ecology. JHU Press.

Other Notes

The name Antennarius striatus has been applied to this species but this is now correctly applied to allied Indo-Pacific populations.