puzzeld toadfish
Austrobatrachus foedus (Puzzeld toadfish)
Friday 31st October 2008

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Species Austrobatrachus foedus 
Common Name       Puzzeld toadfish
Photgrapher Johan Swanepoel
Dive Site Shiprock
Date 30/10/2008
Time 20h18
Depth 14-16 m
Size 25-30 cm





Remarks from East Coast Fish-Watch Project(http://fishwatch.tripod.com/)

Elaine Heemstra 


Puzzeld toadfish (Austrobatrachus foedus )


Many thanks for the excellent photo that you sent in.

It is of an endemic rare toadfish Austrobatrachus foedus, also known as the puzzled toadfish.

And no, we don’t know where the ‘puzzled’ comes from!

The species is known from Algoa bay to the Transkei.

The family is sedentary & they are ambush predators.

It is also quite likely that it is doing a marine version of ‘bunny in the headlights’ with your underwater light.

This is the first underwater shot of this species that we have seen & I wonder if you would give us permission to accession it into our image collection to allow other scientists access?

Most ichthyologists specialize in a specific family of fishes & I hope you won’t mind if I also forward your photo to Dave Greenfield, the toadfish specialist in California, to show him live colour? 




This photograph has also

  • Been included in the publication Review of the toadfish genera (Teleostei : Batrachoididae) by David W. Greenfield of the California Academy of Sciences
  • Appeared on the TV program 50/50 (Veldfokus) where it was considered as one of the best photographic contributions in 2008
  • Been included in the SAIAB (South African institute for the Aquatic Biodivesity) 2009-calendar
  • Won the Submerge Dive Magazine Jan/Feb 2009 photograph competition


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puzzeld toadfish