5 Scary, creepy, not-so-pretty Fish

Oct 31, 2017
 

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.

1. Toadfish

Sapo bocon, Amphichthys crytocentrus, fleshy appendages from chin of fish, cirri on toadfish, ugly fish, camouflaged benthic fish, Solomon Baksh, Blue magazine
Sapo bocon is a type of toadfish, with lots of fleshy appendages (cirri) around its head, chin and gills.

White-spotted Toadfish, Sanopus astrifer, Belize toadfish on Turneffe Island, benthic fish, ugly fish, fish with unbranched barbels on lower jaw, Solomon Baksh, Blue magazine
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.

2. Frogfish

Yellow Longlure Frogfish, Antennarius multiocellatus, occelated spots mimicking sponge openings, odd-shaped fish, ugly fish, camouflaged fish among sponges, benthic fish, Solomon Baksh, Blue magazine
Longlure Frogfish (yellow variation) using its fins, to “walk” among the sponges, where it rests, awaiting prey to pass by.

Yellow Longlure Frogfish, Antennarius multiocellatus, occelated spots mimicking sponge openings, odd-shaped fish, ugly fish, camouflaged fish among sponges, benthic fish, Solomon Baksh, Blue magazine
The Longlure Frogfish has a translucent lure, which it dangles, to attract prey, as it lies waiting, perfectly camouflaged, among sponges or lookalikes.

3. Scorpionfish

Spotted Scorpionfish, Scorpaena grandocornis, Tobago venomous fish, fish with venomous spines, fish with bushy barbels, ugly fish, red, scary fish, camouflaged fish, Solomon Baksh, Blue magazine,

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.

4. Batfish

Shortnose Batfish, Ogcocephalus nasutus, unicorn horn in fish, ugly fish, odd-shaped, cirri or fleshy appendages on fish, benthic fish, Solomon Baksh, Blue magazine
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.

5. Lizardfish

Calico Lizardfish, Synodus lacertinus, Lizardfish, Chile Lagarto, Blue magazine, Solomon Baksh, scary fish, fish with sharp teeth, Costa Rica diving,
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.

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