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Ellen Muller | profile | all galleries >> Frogfish Reproduction tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Frogfish Reproduction

I have been lucky enough to witness frogfish spawning on fifty five different occasions. The first time was Friday the 13th! June 2003 and the second time was March 8th 2005. On the last occasion I had seen the large female swollen with eggs the day before with the smaller male close by so I decided to go back the next night to check on them again. I was running out of bottom time and nothing was happening so I began to move on when the male started to nudge at the female's vent. He nudged her several times as they started moving along the sponge they had been resting on and then with one last push they swam up, together, several feet into the water column. She released her egg mass and the male fertilized the eggs. Both the male and female then drifted down slowly back onto the reef while the eggs floated up towards the surface.

Update 9/8/06:I recently witnessed 2 different pairs of frogfish spawning in less than 2 weeks. August 23rd, 2006 at 8:03pm and September 4th, 2006 at 7:40pm. I filmed the September 4th spawning with my Olympus 5050Z digital camera. Click on the view video icon (12th photo in this gallery) to watch the video. At the beginning you will notice that the frogfish give a wonderful demonstration of spawning behavior without the female actually releasing the eggs. The actual release of eggs and sperm happens very quickly so I was extremely pleased that they put on quite a show before the actual event.

More spawning dates...March 28th, 2007 7:25pm, April 1st, 2008 7:24pm, May 22nd, 2008 7:26pm, June 28th, 2008 7:30pm, June 5th, 2009 7:27pm, August 2nd 2009 7:11pm, March 16th 2010, 7:34pm, March 29th, 2010 7:41pm, July 11th, 2011 7:42pm, August 17th, 2011 7:33pm, September 22nd, 2011 8:07pm, March 9th, 2012 7:14pm, March 14th, 2012, 6:56pm, March 23rd 2012 7:31pm, May 18th 2012 7:37pm. April 21st 2013 7:20 pm, May 23rd 2013 7:43 pm, May 30th 2013 7:40 pm, June 6th 2013 7:58 pm, June 26th 2013 8:08 pm, July 6th 2013 8:27 pm, September 13th 2013, 6:55 pm, December 28th 2013, 6:46 pm, January 6th 2014, 6:54 pm, January 14th 2014 6:52 pm, January 20th 2014, 6:51 pm, January 25th 2014, 7:10 pm, February 8th 2014, 7:05 pm, February 20th, 2014 7:35 pm, February 26th, 7:22pm, March 1st, 7:03 pm, March 13th 2014, 7:08 pm, March 18th 2014,7:24 pm, March 30th 2014, 7:08 pm, April 6th 2014, 7:17 pm, April 14th 2014, 7:14 pm, April 16th 2014, 7:16 pm, April 23rd 2014, 7:23 pm, April 25th 2014, 7:24 pm, April 29th 2014, 7:09 pm, May 4th 2014 7:25pm, May 4th 2014, 7:35 pm. (Yes, 2 different pairs in one night!) May 17th 2014, 7:26 pm, May 27th 2014, 7:27 pm, May 29th 2014, 7:27 pm, June 5th 2014, 7:28 pm. June 6th 2014, 7:30 pm, June 9th 2014, 7:52 pm, June 11th 2014, 7:47 pm, June 17th 2014, 7:28 pm, July 6th 2014, 7:40 pm.

For more info....
Teresa Zubi's Frogfish Pages
Florida Museum of Natural History

All images and content Copyright 2006-2014 Ellen Muller. Please do not use any images without permission.
small orange male starting to push at the larger female, swollen with eggs
small orange male starting to push at the larger female, swollen with eggs
small orange male nudging female seconds before spawning
small orange male nudging female seconds before spawning
Swollen female moving upward in the water column to release her eggs with orange male lower right
Swollen female moving upward in the water column to release her eggs with orange male lower right
female releasing eggs
female releasing eggs
Egg Raft
Egg Raft
Frogfish Egg Raft
Frogfish Egg Raft
female just before spawning
female just before spawning
gravid female
gravid female
frogfish couple
frogfish couple
Pier Pair
Pier Pair
Playa Pabao pair
Playa Pabao pair
Frogfish Spawning Video
Frogfish Spawning Video
Frogfish Pair
Frogfish Pair
Three Frogfish
Three Frogfish
Three Frogfish
Three Frogfish
Frogfish Pair
Frogfish Pair
Frogfish Spawning
Frogfish Spawning
Frogfish Spawning
Frogfish Spawning
Frogfish Spawning
Frogfish Spawning
Close Up of the Egg Raft
Close Up of the Egg Raft
Egg Raft Stuck
Egg Raft Stuck
Egg Raft Stuck
Egg Raft Stuck
Taking Care of Business
Taking Care of Business
Mating Frogfish
Mating Frogfish
Frogfish Pair
Frogfish Pair
Frogfish Pair
Frogfish Pair
3 Frogfish Spawning
3 Frogfish Spawning
3 Frogfish Spawning
3 Frogfish Spawning
Frogfish Pair
Frogfish Pair
3 Frogfish
3 Frogfish
Frogfish Threesome
Frogfish Threesome
3 Frogfish Spawning
3 Frogfish Spawning
4 Frogfish Spawning
4 Frogfish Spawning
2 Male Frogfish
2 Male Frogfish
2 Male Frogfish
2 Male Frogfish
Frogfish Spawning Video
Frogfish Spawning Video
Spawning Video
Spawning Video
Frogfish Couple
Frogfish Couple
Spawning Frogfish
Spawning Frogfish
Spawning Frogfish Video
Spawning Frogfish Video
Original Male!
Original Male!
Original Male 2
Original Male 2
Spawning Rise
Spawning Rise
Spawning Frogfish
Spawning Frogfish
Mating Frogfish
Mating Frogfish
Shared Male
Shared Male
Frogfish New Mate
Frogfish New Mate
Frogfish Couple
Frogfish Couple
Frogfish Spawning
Frogfish Spawning
Frogfish Spawning
Frogfish Spawning
Frogfish & Egg Raft
Frogfish & Egg Raft
Frogfish Spawn
Frogfish Spawn
Frogfish Threesome Spawning, Photo & Video
Frogfish Threesome Spawning, Photo & Video
Frogfish Spawning
Frogfish Spawning
Frogfish Spawning
Frogfish Spawning