Monday, June 15, 2009

HISTIOPHRYNE PSYCHEDELICA

Image by David Hall from Seaphotos.com

It's a face only a mother could love and was discovered off Ambon Island, Indonesia in January, 2008 by sports divers.


It was officially named as a new species. It's brightly coloured, 8 centimetres long, has a broad, flat face with forward-looking eyes and its DNA distinguishes it from other Histiophryne frogfish. It got the name of psychedelica because of the swirling stripes on the body. Those swirling bright orange, blue and white stripes remain whatever the background while other frogfish change colour to match the coral. H Psychedelica doesn't attract prey with a lure either, preferring to squeeze into tiny crevices in search of small fish.


It doesn't so much swim as walk on its leg-like pectoral fins but also hops to safety by squirting out little jets of water from gill-like openings at the back of its body that propel it along in irregular, arcing hops.

Apparently it didn't like being discovered since the 12 or so individuals disappeared in June, 2008. Divers are still searching for the elusive Psychedelica as researchers would like to know why it's so different from other species of frogfish.


X-Files, I tell you.

8 comments:

phil said...

I assume it was the divers who were into the psychedelia..

Bwca Brownie said...

HistioPHRYNE FISHER ?

Brian Hughes said...

I wonder what it tastes like?

Jayne said...

Absolutely gorgeous!

JahTeh said...

Phil, if I saw this coming towards me I'd be checking the tank mixture.

Bwca, I knew you'd get the name. I wonder if that's how the author put it together?

Fleetwood, no wonder it went back into hiding. With those colours, probably highly toxic.

Jayne, apparently it has appeared once before in the 90s but disappeared then.

Kath Lockett said...

He looks like the orange and white speckled ball of wool I'm using to knit my scarf with, but I'm sure he wouldn't be as soft or cosy....

River said...

Hmmm, Phryne Fisher......Haven't read any of those books for quite a while.
It's probably "disappeared" because all known specimens are now residing in a lab somewhere in Area 52. Not Area 51, that's just a smoke & mirrors place to keep the general public from knowing about Area 52.....

hazelblackberry said...

River, after reading - enduring - three Phryne Fisher books, I've decided they're crap.

As for the fish; maybe I'm its mother (well, people do say I'm cold-blooded)because i think there's something quite apealing about it.