So I’ll take a break today from the crabby parade, and instead offer up a Friday funny fish face.
This creature is a Flying Gunard (Dactyloptena orientalis). It is one of several strange “creeping” fish that can be found in the tropical Pacific.
Not so much a swimmer, it “walks” along the bottom on two pelvic fin/legs. It will lift off and swim if startled, with those huge wingy pectoral fins fully deployed. A very strange fish indeed.
These images were captured on a night dive in a mucky bay, in an island group in the Banda Sea. This fish was about 12 inches long, and was the first and only one of these things that I have seen in several trips to Indonesia.
Edited to add: The cousin of this weird Indo fish, Dactyloptenan orientalis, is Dactyloptenan volitans, which can occasionally be spotted in the Caribbean, Bahamas etc. I have seen only one in that part of the world, despite many dives there – in Turks & Caicos (I think). Couldn’t get close enough to get a picture. A skittish fish for sure…