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Old August 19th, 2013, 03:47 PM   #1
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Default The Orange Toadfish

Opsanus beta, the Orange Toadfish is an 8 inch resident of the Florida Keys and the area between the Gulf and Caribbean. They are brighly colored and have a smiley face and a wide mouth with lots of tiny sharp teeth and piercing eyes. They also make toad-like noises, and apparently each male has a slightly different call so it can't be mistaken for another. They have a fairly long tail which they bury as an anchor, and the part you see above the substrate does look a lot like a toad. You can only keep 1 per tank, and as I found out, you can't keep much else with them. I recently came across one at Petco of all places, and as they are in fairly high demand, I decided it would be an interesting addition to my 29 gallon tank.

My little Angelfish thought it was interesting too. The Toadfish had made a burrow under the edge of my live rock, and the Angelfish poked his face in and dropped dead. Toadfish have a poison spine on their dorsal fin, but also tiny ones on their gill covers, so they can really give the kiss of death. (Human encounters are considered as bad as wasp stings.) They also have sensory prongs around their face and 2 on the the top of their heads that look like antennae.

Now the Toadfish lives in the Angelfish's old fork between the two branches of the coral skeleton in the middle of the tank. He has a big appetite, and during the day waits with his head out for me to drop a piece of shrimp near him, which he sucks in like a vacuum cleaner. He runs around the bottom of the tank at night. It is an interesting fish, very smart and interactive with people, but not such good company for other fish.
Dr. Robert Price
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