Aww, look at this adorable orange ocean-dweller resting on a reef with his fish frien … ohmygawd!

The frogfish is an unassuming character. Imagine a goldfish hastily doodled in a game of Pictionary. Permanently scowling and strangely misshapen, the frogfish has a face only its mother could love (and considering the unfortunate-looking oddballs are likely left to fend for themselves straight after hatching, not even their mothers show them much affection).

But the frogfish should not be underestimated. These tiny creatures are lightning-quick predators.

Diver Sina Strahl captured the footage above of a tangerine-coloured killer ambushing cardinal fish in the pellucid waters off Indonesia’s Lembeh Strait. Much like their more well-known relatives, the anglerfish, frogfish are ambush predators. Stocky, short and scaleless, these skilled hunters will settle on a branch of coral or rest on the ocean floor and lie in wait for any unsuspecting prey. The frogfish can stretch its mouth up to 12 times its resting size, a nifty trick that helps it vacuum up its meals in record time.

Each of the 50 or so known frogfish species have evolved to blend in perfectly with their environments. This one may look like it’s adapted to live amongst a bushel of grumpy oranges, but when nestled in the branches of orange-hued coral, it becomes almost undetectable.

Some frogfish species have a dorsal fin spine that has evolved into a kind of fishing pole tipped with a wavy lure for attracting prey. Image © Betty Wills

While most bony fish have a gas-filled organ called a swim bladder that aids in buoyancy and stabilisation, frogfish are not most fish, so they do without one. Instead of gliding through the ocean, the globular creatures use their modified pectoral fins to “walk” along the ocean floor, usually with the grace of an inebriated straggler on their way home from the pub.

As awkward as they look when they are on the move, there is no denying their predatory prowess. For a light-hearted look at the frogfish, take a few minutes to watch this: