Ambush predators, also called sit-and-wait predators, are carnivorous animals that get to their meals by stealth or strategy rather than by speed or strength. Ambush predators sit and wait for prey, often from a concealed position and, in the case of our marine candidates here, concealing themselves by different methods of camouflage. They got more than their look going for them! Blending in has created some remarkable features, adding details and oddity to these creatures.

As one would expect from animals specialised to suck their prey in, the heads and in particular the mouths of ambush predators are quite large in comparison to their overall body size. By opening their mouth quickly, they create a sucking motion strong enough to catch and swallow their prey in one bite.

Some ambush predators, like the frogfish, even lure their prey closer which is called aggressive mimicry. Others, like scorpionfishes, add short and rapid movements to broaden their striking distance. All of these fashion monsters have one attitude in common: Whenever their prey comes close enough, they just suck it up.

They got that look in their eyes: Ambush predators

Underwater close-up (crop) of the eye of a tasseled scorpionfish showing the radiant patternaround the pupil to break up the outline of the eye as well as filaments and colour patterns around the eyes helping this ambush predator to conceil its look (Wakatobi, Indonesia)
Underwater close-up (crop) of the red eye of a hairy frogfish with irregular brown and beige pattern (radiant). Photo of this ambush predator was taken in Lembeh, Indonesia.
Underwater close-up (crop) of the eye of a crocodilefish with a beautifu lace almost like eyelashes covering the upper part of the pupil of this ambush predator speckled in dark and light (Wakatobi, Indonesia)
Underwater close-up (crop) showing the eye of an ambon scorpionfish with dark reflecting pupiles and a radiant pattern (red and white) around them which turns into a wider ring of orange, white, brown and red as camouflage for this beautiful ambush predator (Lembeh, Indonesia).
Underwater close-up (crop) of the face of a Cockatoo waspfish (brown fish with small white and colourful speckles al over), yet another ambush predator from Lembeh, Indonesia.
Underwater close-up (crop)showing a part of the face of a spiny devilfish (sometimes called indian walkman) in different shades of brown and ochre. Reddish strip through the black pupil and light beige and reddish radiant pattern around the pupil to break up the outline of the eye of this ambush predator.
underwater close-up (crop) of the eye of a small member of the scorpionfish family (supposedly whiteface waspfish) with sort of a golden-red rim around the pupil and a crest like a rooster (Lembeh, Indonesia).

Fashion monsters in details: How they pull it off

All of these ambush predators are pretty proud of their appearance, after all, "They got the look". So admire the creatures in detail and read a little more about their lives of sitting, waiting, wishing:

Ambon scorpionfish

A shaggy Elvis

The cackatoo waspfish

Punk's not dead

The devil scorpionfish

Sinister style with venom

Frogfish: Brightly coloured or hairy

The odd one out

The leaf scorpionfish

Elegant and timeless

The infamous Stonefish

Venomous touch

Ambush predators perfecting their looks and specialising in sitting and waiting, lose some other skills as this giant frogfish is demonstrating nicely. There are more short clips dedicated to some of our fashionable creatures in the collection "Take a Minute to Relax".


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