Coral Reefs

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 577–577 | Cite as

The Sargassum Frogfish (Histrio histrio Linnaeus) observed in mangroves in St. John, US Virgin Islands

  • C. S. RogersEmail author
  • T. W. Pietsch
  • J. E. Randall
  • R. J. Arnold
Reef Site


Coral Reef Green Alga Standard Length Brown Alga Ulva 
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The Sargassum Frogfish (Histrio histrio), the only pelagic member of the frogfish family Antennariidae, is considered an obligate associate of floating mats of the brown algae Sargassum natans and S. fluitans (Adams 1960; Dooley 1972; Pietsch and Grobecker 1987). Between February and April 2010, 20 of these fish were observed in three mangrove-fringed bays in Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument, St. John, US Virgin Islands. All of them were clinging to clumps of the red alga Acanthophora spicifera growing on the submerged prop roots of red mangrove trees (Rhizophora mangle) distributed along an estimated total of 2,160 m of shoreline (Fig. 1). All of the fish were at a depth of less than 0.5 meters. Two individuals were seen on one prop root, but the other 18 were solitary. Their estimated standard lengths ranged from about 20 to 100 mm. Littler and Littler (2000, p. 295) published a photograph of one individual in blades of the green alga Ulva lactuca growing on a prop root in Belize. This is the first report of the Sargassum Frogfish living in association with attached algae.
Fig. 1

A Sargassum Frogfish in Acanthophora spicifera on a mangrove prop root


  1. Adams JA (1960) A contribution to the biology and postlarval development of the Sargassum fish, Histrio histrio (Linnaeus), with a discussion of the Sargassum complex. Bull Mar Sci Gulf Caribb 10:55–82Google Scholar
  2. Dooley JK (1972) Fishes associated with the pelagic Sargassum complex, with a discussion of the Sargassum community. Contributions in Marine Science 16:1–32Google Scholar
  3. Littler DS, Littler MM (2000) Caribbean reef plants. Offshore Graphics Inc, Washington, DC, p 542Google Scholar
  4. Pietsch TW, Grobecker DB (1987) Frogfishes of the world. Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA, p 420Google Scholar

Copyright information

© US Government 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. S. Rogers
    • 1
    Email author
  • T. W. Pietsch
    • 2
  • J. E. Randall
    • 3
  • R. J. Arnold
    • 2
  1. 1.US Geological SurveySoutheast Ecological Science CenterSt. JohnUSA
  2. 2.School of Aquatic and Fishery SciencesUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Bishop MuseumHonoluluUSA

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