Histiophryne psychedelic: A crazy new fish species

by Owen James

Scientific American just drew my attention to the video below of Histiophryne psychedelica, a new species of fish named for its crazy brown and peach stripes, and its strange hopping motion through the water.

According to the full statement from the University of Washington News:

Compared to other anglerfish, members of H. psychedelica have no lures. Most anglerfish have lures growing out of their foreheads. The other anglerfish sit right out in the open on the seafloor or coral reefs, often adapting their coloring so their bodies are camouflaged, but the lures are meant to be noticed so the fish wave, wiggle and sometimes blink the lures on and off in order to attract pray, Pietsch says.

Instead of all that showiness, members of H. psychedelica are shy and secretive, probably one of the reasons they weren’t previously spotted. When a member of H. psychedelica is uncovered by divers it usually seeks a new place to hide within 10 or 15 minutes.

And while other anglerfish change their coloring depending on the environment, the new species appears to maintain its wild striping no matter the surroundings.

You can clearly see the crazy movement in the video below.

Histiophryne psychedelica┬áis described in this month’s issue of Copeia.

Check out Katy's Tropical Fish Guide for more aquarium info.

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