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58. Juvenile Clown Frogfish (Antennarius maculatus)



Subject:

This adorable juvenile Clown- or Warty Frogfish (Antennarius maculatus) is, in fact, a ferocious predator. Any animal, whether its own size or smaller, that approaches the little clown might end up in this little one's stomach. Considering that frogfish have the fastest gape and suck technique of any fish (6 milliseconds), the chances of prey escaping are slim.

Frogfish feed on anything that moves close enough to their mouth. There is little that the frogfish will not eat. They are known to engulf prey even larger than themselves. Frogfish are sometimes referred to as a stomach with eyes and fins. Aquarium keepers are well aware that if they introduce a frogfish to their tank, it will be emptied of all free-moving life in a matter of weeks, or even days.


This beautiful frogfish species has two common names; Warty Frogfish and Clown Frogfish. When the animal is in an early stage of its life, it reminds anyone observing it of a clown. The white body with bright red markings are representative features of the masquerade and makeup of a typical clown's face. Not all juveniles have a white body; often they are yellow or yellowish, and sometimes even black ones are spotted. Other juvenile frogfish species, especially the juveniles of the Painted Frogfish (Antennarius pictus), also exhibit bright colours, although here the colours can vary, and the animal is often brightly dotted, leading scuba divers to sometimes refer to them as "Clown" Frogfish as well.


At a later stage in life, the adults of this species develop small wart-like bumps all over their bodies. When encountered at this adult stage, this frogfish is often more commonly referred to as a Warty Frogfish.


Frogfish identification is often very difficult. Of course, there are typical stereotypes that are easily identified. But when a particular frogfish show many similarities with other and different frogfish species, it occasionally becomes nearly impossible to make an exact identification. An underwater picture or some video footage might help, but when a scuba diver has to rely on his/her memory to identify a frogfish, or any marine creature for that matter, it becomes extremely difficult for that diver to pinpoint the right species.


Technique:

Filming or photographing white or black animals underwater is challenging. To bring out the details of the frogfish, I have enhanced the contrast of its skin. By "boosting contrast," I mean that in post-production, the darker parts are darkened, and the lighter parts are made lighter. In this case, however, the white of the animal is kept as it was to avoid overexposure of the white color. When increasing the contrast, it must be done so that it's almost unnoticeable but still with enough difference so that the darker and lighter details are becoming more visible than before the correction.


I have also saturated all the vivid colours in this underwater clip, like the azure blue background, to make the overall underwater video clip more appealing.


The choice of music was obvious; a circus-like funny and quirky tune to emphasise the clown in the picture.


Filming location:

This short underwater videoclip has been filmed in Bali, Indonesia 🇮🇩


More on this topic:

For an in-depth description of an adult Warty or Clown Frogfish please go to vlog post 9 or click following link: https://www.beyondscuba.com/post/warty-frogfish


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