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Oyster Toadfish

Opsanus tau

Drawing of an Oyster Toadfish

Max Size: 32 cm (1 ft.)

Habitat: Inshore waters in and under wood and rocks, from Maine to Florida.

Diet: Wide variety of fishes and crustaceans




Fun Facts:

  • Male toadfish emit a foghorn-like sound during the mating season to attract females, like a toad, though both sexes can croak
  • Toadfish are benthic, preferring to spend most of their time nestled in debris such as rocks and wood; they become very territorial of their “spot” and spar with individuals
  • Toadfish are some of the hardiest fish in the Hudson, able to tolerate difficult water conditions, be out of water longer than most fish, and can eat just about anything they can fit in their massive mout.
  • Because of their durability they were selected by NASA to be sent into space in 1998 to study the effects of lower gravity on the development of otoliths (earstones)
  • Toadfish are ambush predators, lying in wait while camouflaged for prey to swim by