Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

Español  Contact

Species: Fowlerichthys ocellatus, Ocellated Frogfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

fish pole ~2nd D spine
2nd D spine attached to head by membrane with spicules
3 large ocelli: mid-D, mid-body, center C
D&A not connected to C
pelvics: all 5 rays branched

Fowlerichthys ocellatus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)

Ocellated Frogfish

A globular somewhat compressed body; head not spiny; eyes on sides of head; a very large, upward directed mouth with many small teeth; a small round gill opening, below and behind pectoral base; dorsal rays I+I+I,13; "fish-pole" is 9-15% of SL, about equal to length of second dorsal spine; "lure" is a cluster of elongate filaments; second dorsal spine strongly curved, membrane behind it that connects it to head is divided into upper and lower smooth sections by a dense cluster of spicules; 3rd dorsal spine movable, not bound down by skin; limb-like pectoral fins with an "elbow" joint, that fin broadly connected to body; anal rays 8; pectoral rays 12 (rarely 11-13); pelvic fins short, with all 5 rays branched; tail base present, dorsal and anal fins not connected to tail fin; skin of body rough, covered with close-set, double-pointed spicules.

Orange to mottled yellow-brown; with three large conspicuous ocelli - 1 on lower middle of dorsal fin, 1 on mid-body under the dorsal-fin spot, and 1 on center of tail fin; numerous small dark spots on lower head and body.

Size: attains 42 cm, the largest Caribbean frogfish.

Habitat: usually shell, mud and sand bottoms, but also on reefs.

Depth: 1-150 m, usually around 50 m.

New York to Brazil.

High Resolution Map Download

Species Data Create Report Export as Word File Export as Excel File
  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Corals
  • Mud
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Continental primarily
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 42
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 150