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Species of the Day. The Oyster Toadfish Opsanus tau. Appearance. Males grow up to 15 inches long, females only about 8 inches. Very loose skin – looks like it is rotting. Spiny fins and bony bumps on head. Very large rounded fins. Live for about 15 years. Habitat.

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Species of the day

Species of the Day

The Oyster Toadfish

Opsanus tau


Appearance
Appearance

  • Males grow up to 15 inches long, females only about 8 inches.

  • Very loose skin – looks like it is rotting.

  • Spiny fins and bony bumps on head.

  • Very large rounded fins.

  • Live for about 15 years.


Habitat
Habitat

  • Lives off shore in sandy, rocky and reef areas

  • Highly tolerant of pollution

  • Able to live out of water for extended periods of time.


Feeding habits
Feeding Habits

  • Voracious omnivore

  • Feeds on oysters, clams, worms, shrimp, amphipods, crabs, hermit crabs, mollusks, squid, and small fish.

  • Snaps at you when caught.

  • Large head full of crushing teeth to pulverize shells and notes.


Unique breeding for fish
Unique Breeding for Fish

  • Males find a nest and then make noise to call a female from deeper water.

    • The muscles used to make the noise vibrate at over 200 times a second. Fastest vertebrate muscle.

  • Females select the larger males based on the pitch of the call. Low pitch = large male

  • Females enter the nest and lay eggs, then leave. Males fertilize the eggs then guard the nest until the young leave.

  • Smaller males will act like females and then sneak fertilize the eggs. They DO NOT stay to guard the eggs.


Bibliography
Bibliography

  • The Uncommon Guide to Common Life on Narragansett Bay. Save The Bay, 1998. Retrieved from http://www.edc.uri.edu/restoration/html/gallery/fish/toad.htm

  • University of Michigan School of Zoology. http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/resources/Grzimek_fish/Batrachoidiformes/0psanus_tau.jpg/medium.jpg&imgrefurl=http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/resources/Grzimek_fish/Batrachoidiformes/0psanus_tau.jpg/view.html&usg=__e0qB2JMqZRpd6pjfhq0UsnyJYOM=&h=240&w=535&sz=33&hl=en&start=10&sig2=U7lkr6DwdWrrRGVp_MlCXA&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=iaBigSu5F-LWeM:&tbnh=59&tbnw=132&prev=/images%3Fq%3Doyster%2Btoadfish%2Bopsanus%2Btau%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Dactive%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26sa%3DN%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26tbs%3Disch:1&ei=vfO9S-nJGKiitgPX4M26Aw


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