The Red-lipped Batfish. By Jude B.

By November 19, 2017

You probably have seen angler fish before at least in pictures. But have you ever seen a type of angler fish with bright red lips? In the Galapagos Islands, there is an angler known as the “Red-lipped Batfish”, or “Galapagos Batfish” (“Ogcocephalus Darwin”), that has just this very thing!

The Galapagos Batfish is found at depths of ten to 349 feet, and, though they have fins, only use them to walk across the ocean floor. These so-called “Galapagos Batfish” have grayish-brownish backs, white stomachs, and (of course) bright crimson lips. They can grow up to eight inches in length. There are other types of batfish that belong to the family “Ogcocephalus”, such as the Costa Rican Balfish. (There is even another type of Batfish in a different family of fish altogether—the “Ephippidae” family—but these fish have no relation to the Ogocephalus and look entirely different.)

But back to the Ogcocephalus. Galapagos Batfish feed mostly on small crustaceans and fish. They catch their prey by drawing them to their jaws with their “illicium”—the structure on their head that acts like a lure. While the angler on the batfishes head may catch the eye of near-by shrimp, a quick glance of its bright red mouth is what catches ours!


Author Aaron POTTER

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