by Sandra Baksh
In the depths of the ocean, it’s easy to fall in love with so much beauty of shapes, color and variety of marine species…then there are those that are not so visually enthralling and might often be ignored, due to their mastery of camouflage! Our 5 creepy-looking fish, fall into that category of far-from-good-looking but they make excellent photography subjects, giving a full appreciation of their appearance and physical adaptations to their environment. All of these odd-shaped fishes, also reside along the sea floor and are known as benthic dwellers so they won’t be found swimming around freely with other pelagic fish.
Sapo bocon is a type of toadfish, with lots of fleshy appendages (cirri) around its head, chin and gills.
The White-spotted Toadfish, with its characteristic barbels on the chin, is rarely seen and found mainly in the remote atolls of Belize, like Turneffe Atoll.
Longlure Frogfish (yellow variation) using its fins, to “walk” among the sponges, where it rests, awaiting prey to pass by.
The Longlure Frogfish has a translucent lure, which it dangles, to attract prey, as it lies waiting, perfectly camouflaged, among sponges or lookalikes.
The Spotted Scorpionfish is covered with fleshy appendages, called cirri or plumes, above the eyes, on the chin and head. The spines on the dorsal fin are venomous and puncture wounds are excruciating. Try never to touch, even by mistake, especially as they are masters of camouflage among rocks on the reefscape.
Shortnose batfish have a horn-like protrusion, between the eyes, similar to a unicorn. They use their pectoral and ventral fins to “walk”along the sea floor, instead of swimming.
Calico Lizardfish can change color and patterns to effectively blend in with its surroundings.They are carnivorous are feed on other fish, hence the sharp teeth, which latches on to prey.