© Johan Boshoff


Toadfish (Batrachoididae)


Toadfish measure 17 cm on average but can be as long as 57 cm.


Toadfish have large mouths and large heads which narrow towards the tail. Their upper and lower jaws are covered in flaps of skin and barbels. There is a spine in the first of their two dorsal fins, as well as on the gill cover, which can cause poisonous injuries. Some toadfish have light-producing organs or photophores. They are well camouflaged in being sandy coloured with darker patches.

General Info

Toadfish belong to the Batrachoididae family which comprises of 23 genera and 80 species. Their name derives from their toad-like appearance. These fish can be found at the sandy or muddy bottoms of the ocean where they catch their prey by surprise. Males attract females to their nests by making a noise with their bladders and guards the eggs until the eggs are hatched and the juveniles are five weeks of age.


Toadfish feed on worms, invertebrates and crustaceans.


They can be found in all temperate and tropical oceans across the world.

Common Species

Brown toadfish - Batrachomoeus dubius
Snakehead toadfish - Batrichthys apiatus
Splendid toadfish - Sanopus splendidus

© Johan Boshoff