Indonesia's Psychedelic Fish Named New Species

Sunday, 01 Mar 2009 04:33 PM

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

JAKARTA, Indonesia – A funky, psychedelic fish that bounces on the ocean floor like a rubber ball has been classified as a new species, a scientific journal reported. The frogfish — which has a swirl of tan and peach zebra stripes that extend from its aqua eyes to its tail — was initially discovered by scuba diving instructors working for a tour operator a year ago in shallow waters off Ambon island in eastern Indonesia.

The operator contacted Ted Pietsch, lead author of a paper published in this month's edition of Copeia, the journal of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, who submitted DNA work identifying it as a new species.

The fish — which the University of Washington professor has named "psychedelica" — is a member of the antennariid genus, Histiophryne, and like other frogfish, has fins on both sides of its body that have evolved to be leg-like.

But it has several behavioral traits not previously known to the others, Pietsch wrote.

Each time the fish strike the seabed, for instance, they push off with their fins and expel water from tiny gill openings to jet themselves forward. That, and an off-centered tail, causes them to bounce around in a bizarre, chaotic manner.

Mark Erdman, a senior adviser to the Conservation International's marine program, said Thursday it was an exciting discovery.

"I think people thought frogfishes were relatively well known and to get a new one like this is really quiet spectacular. ... It's a stunning animal," he said, adding that the fish's stripes were probably intended to mimic coral.

"It also speaks to the tremendous diversity in this region and to fact that there are still a lot of unknowns here — in Indonesia and in the Coral Triangle in general."

The fish, which has a gelatinous fist-sized body covered with thick folds of skin that protect it from sharp-edged corals, also has a flat face with eyes directed forward, like humans, and a huge, yawning mouth.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

NASA Spacecraft Approaches Mars to Seek Answers to Lost Water

Saturday, 20 Sep 2014 13:53 PM

A NASA spacecraft designed to investigate how Mars lost its water is expected to put itself into orbit around the Red Pl . . .

Astronauts Getting 3-D Printer at Space Station

Saturday, 20 Sep 2014 07:38 AM

The 3-D printing boom is about to invade space.NASA is sending a 3-D printer to the International Space Station in hopes . . .

New Smartphone App Gives Sight to Blind

Saturday, 20 Sep 2014 07:29 AM

Jonathan Mosen, who has been blind since birth, spent his evening snapping photos of packages in the mail, his son's sch . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved