- uploaded: Dec 10, 2009
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A new fish has been discovered off the coast of Indonesia--and besides being beautiful--it has a unique way of moving through the water. Lets take a look.
The University of Washington scientist who this month officially described this new species of fish chose to call it Histiophryne Psychedelica, or H. psychedelica, for it's orange and brown stripes.
H. psychedelica was first spotted in the harbor of Ambon Island in Indonesia in January 2008. It took more than a year of testing by the university's Professor Ted Pietsch to establish that it was indeed unique.
DNA work revealed that the fish is of the genus Histiophryne along with two other species, although its two cousins are far less spectacular in appearance. The genus is one of about a dozen in the family commonly known as frogfish.
Unlike any other known species of fish, H. psychedelica hops along the reefs where it lives, using its fins to push off the surface while squirting jets of water from a gill opening on each side. Other types of frogfish have been observed jettisoning themselves from the ocean floor before swimming but none have been seen hopping. With its tail curled to one side, it has the appearance of a fish without purpose or control. It seems to bounce randomly from rock to rock, protected from sharp coral by thick, gelatinous folds of skin.
About the size of an adult fist, the fish also has forward-facing eyes, leading to speculation that it may have binocular vision much like humans.
Despite its showy appearance, H. psychedelica is shy and secretive and Professor Pitsch says its reluctance to show off may explain why it has managed to stay hidden for so long.