Oyster Toadfish

Opsanus tau

Image by Robert Aguilar, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, CC BY 2.0

Physical: Toadfish are scaleless, flat fish with olive brown coloration, and a pale belly. Whiskers are located on their cheeks and jaw. They can grow to approximately 12 inches.

Habitat: O. tau range from Cape Cod to southern Florida. They prefer shallow waters inshore, and take refuge in vegetation or debris.

Feeding: Toadfish are omnivorous. They ambush their prey by hiding at the bottom of their environment and passively waiting, then snapping out to kill.

Breeding: Spawning occurs from April to October. The males establish nesting areas that are somewhat enclosed, using debris. Females swim into the nest and lay eggs that are approximately 0.5 to 1 inch in diameter. The males fertilize the eggs and guard them until they hatch.

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