CURIOUS CREATURES: Crickey, it’s a crocodilefish!

CURIOUS CREATURES: Crickey, it’s a crocodilefish!

Going in the books as another one of those fishes named after other animals, the crocodilefish is a fascinating one that may even steal the spotlight from real crocodiles.

The crocodilefish may look somewhat familiar as they closely resemble their close cousins the scorpionfish and stonefish, which are all champions of camouflage with their mosaic patterns of brown and grey. But the crocodilefish has a little bit of a twist to its blotchy complexion with a criss cross of fluorescent greenish blue that also covers its body. Also known as De Beaufort’s flathead, they are dubbed so because of their flatheads. Their elongated body give way to a flat and wide head that showcases one of their most fascinating features, their eyes!

Take a second to look at their eyes and you’ll see how peculiar they are. A delicate lace of frilly iris lappets disguises their globus eyes and break up the distinct black outline of its iris. Helping them further blend into their surroundings. And even more amazing, these lappets have the ability to expand and contract according to light intensity. Amazing!

Although, don’t be fooled by their passiveness, they are also dubbed the crocodilefish because they’re prefer the ambush form. Laying still until a prey comes into range and BOOM! But divers have nothing to fear, as they stay very calm and still when spotted half hidden around shallow reefs.

But don’t expect to wrestle with big crocs when we’re talking about the crocodilefish. They are relatively medium in size, growing up to an average of 35 cm and the biggest being 50 cm.

So keep your eye’s peeled for these beauts on your next dive!