Batrachoidiformes (Greek batrachos- `frog`) Taxonomy: Superclass

Batrachoidiformes (Greek batrachos- ‘frog’)
Taxonomy: Superclass: Gnathostomata
Class: Agtinopteregii
Order: Batrachoidiformes
Family: Batrachoididae
3 subfamilies, 18 genera, 69 species; Toadfishes!
Description: Broad, flattened heads that have fleshy flaps and barbels around
the mouth; cylindrical trunk and rounded caudal fin, long soft dorsal and anal
fin containing 2 to 3 spines at the front of the dorsal forming the small spiny
dorsal fin; prominent forward facing eyes and large downturned mouth, slimy
skin (resembling a toad).
Habitat: bottom-dwellers; shallow to semi-deep coastal waters; marine,
brackish, and freshwater species
Distribution: Found most in the Americas followed by African and
Indonesian/Australian waters
Ecology and Life History: Can survive over 24 hours outside of water; some
species have been seen using ventral fins as legs to move across mud flats;
Have a diverse diet and able to swallow large prey due to elastic stomach.
Mating season late spring to summer; males utter mating calls to attract
females to nest. Produce 20-100 large eggs that father watches over in nest
until young can fend for themselves.
Additional details: The shy and rather slow fishes have compensated with
their breeding habits. Much energy is put into the raising and caring for their
young, parenting and nurturing a small number of eggs by the father. Highly
vocal mating calls include grunts growls and croaks that can be heard above
Recent Research: Calling behavior of the male toadfish not only serves to
attract females to the nest, but is also a result of male-male competition and
serves as a warning sign to other males to keep away.
Bond, C. E. 1996. Biology of Fishes, 2nd. ed. Saunders College Publishing, Fort
Paxton, J. R. and W. N. Eshmeyer. 1998. Encyclopedia of fishes 2nd ed.
Academic Press. pg. 135-136
Vasconcelos, R. O. et al. 2010. Vocal Behavior During Territorial Intrusions in
the Lusitanian Toadfish: Boatwhistles Also Function as Territorial ‘KeepOut’ Signals. Ethology. 116: 155–165. doi: 10.1111
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