Strange fish identification

Images: 
Strange fellow.jpg

To any REEF forum members who might see this and recognize this fish, help ID this fish. It was caught and released way back in the late sixties in a lagoon just north of the gulf at Gulf Shores, Alabama. It was swimming slowly just under the surface when my father, brother and myself noticed it. We were easily able to scoop it up in a hand held crab net. I know it is difficult to make out details in this picture but it is the only one there is. The mouth is open and on the left with a vertical spine just above the top lip. The pectoral fins had stiff spines in them and it used them to try to climb out of the net. At the time we were afraid to touch it. We thought it may be poisionous because of the spines. After taking the photo we put him back and he continued on his way. We have been trying to find out what it is ever since. Guesses range from some kind of angler fish to puffer or scorpionfish but nothing seems to match. If you can help, I would really appreciate a response. If nesessary I can e-mail a larger image. Thanks.

 

 

Strange Fish ID

 

Appears to be a sargassum frogfish - Histrio histrio

 

Ron Silver 

 

acknowledgment

Dear Mr. Silver,

Thank you very much for taking the time to identify this fish for me. I have been trying to do so for a long time. I looked up info on this species and everything I read matched what I remember about this fish. It is indeed a curious creature. Thanks again for your help.

Randall Bingham

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