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Wartskin Angler
(Antennarius maculatus)
Quick Care FactsCare Level: Moderate
Temperament: Semi-aggressive
Maximum Size: 6"
Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons
Water Conditions: 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
Diet: Carnivore
Origin: Indo-Pacific
Family: Antennariidae
Species: Anglers
Aquarium Type: Reef Compatible
Species Information
The Wartskin Angler, a native to the various reefs in the West Indo-Pacific, is also referred to as the Wartskin Frogfish as well as the Clown Frogfish. Wartskin Anglers are truly amazing species as they can easily blend into their environment due to the wart-like protuberances that cover their bodies and their ability to shift their colors to match their background.
Wartskin Anglers are very interesting to observe as they get into position, morph their colors, and proceed to wiggle their modified spine (illicium) and "fish" with their lure-like appendage (esca) at its tip; they eventually entice small fish and other live prey to get close enough for them to spring the ambush and devour their prize. Wartskin Anglers are relatively peaceful with tank mates that will not fit into their large mouths and can coexist peacefully with select heterospecifics.
Aquarium Care
Wartskin Anglers grow to a length of 6" and should be housed in an aquarium of at least 55 gallons. They prefer a sand substrate and require plenty of live rock for hunting and shelter (they also appreciate coral rubble that they can blend into and setup an "ambush"). Anglers can have quite a biological impact for their size and their home should be provided with efficient biological and mechanical filtration along with the use of a protein skimmer.
They are a reef safe species that will not harm corals, but they may sometimes eat small shrimp and will definitely dine on small fish; for this reason, most hobbyists tend to keep them in a FOWLR environment. They normally coexist well with other species, but should not be housed with puffers or triggers as they will soon be missing their "fishing gear" (esca and illicium). Any tank mates that will fit into their large mouths can potentially become dinner and should be avoided.
Feeding & Nutrition
Wartskin Anglers are predatory, ambush hunting, carnivores that mainly eat small fish and shrimp in the wild. In the aquarium they should be fed live (possibly "gut-loaded"), small fish, brine shrimp, and ghost shrimp. They can also be conditioned to accept frozen and other prepared or vitamin-enriched meaty foods from a feeding stick (wiggled around near them) such as krill, silver sides, chopped crustacean flesh, bloodworms, chopped fresh fish, chopped mussels, chopped scallops, and chopped clams.
Additional Photos