Small Package, Big Surprise!

red dwarf.jpg

Hi all;

Two weeks ago, while finalizing the 4th edition of our DVD field guide, we revisited some images that we had labelled “unidentified”. In particular, we had some images of a tiny frogfish that my sons Keri and Kris had found off St. Vincent in 2005. It was red, had white blotches, and was less than one inch long. It was the third juvenile frogfish we had found on that trip, but this one didn't match any known species. It had a split second dorsal spine and the hint of a spot on the rear of its dorsal fin, like a dwarf frogfish (Antennarius pauciradiatus), but the dwarf is supposed to be pale yellow.

Last week we discussed the photos with frogfish specialists and finally nailed down the ID. Not a juvenile! It was indeed a dwarf frogfish --- the first record of a red one! A photo taken by Keri is attached.

If a red dwarf frogfish isn't enough to put St. Vincent on your "to-do" list, how about two of them? Bill Tewes of Dive St. Vincent just told me that he found another one at a second dive site.

Les Wilk

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