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Fish ID in West Bay

Saskatoon, Canada
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141 posts
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Fish ID in West Bay

Just returned from Roatan and on my last day there, I spotted a peculiar fish or maybe it was a skate.

It was about the size of a plate, with a roundish tail...not long like a skate or ray. It was sand colored.

It had spikes all around it and its eyes bulged from the top of his head and the eyes could spin around, much like a periscope.

Wierdest thing i've ever seen. I've been searching on the internet for what it may be, but cant find anything. Does anyone have any idea what the heck it is?

roatan
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1. Re: Fish ID in West Bay

Might have been a flounder. They always make me laugh when I see them and get water in my mouth :0)

Bonnie

Saskatoon, Canada
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2. Re: Fish ID in West Bay

By golly...I think thats it...I didnt have my camera with me...i was describing it to my family and they said I drank too much rum and just imagined it!

Thanks!

Calgary, Canada
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3. Re: Fish ID in West Bay

it's called a Toad fish, we hadn't seen them before either and then found a postcard with a clear photo of one..............we saw several, some bigger than others. I hope that we were able to catch a picture of it with our own camera but am not sure how clear it'll be, it dug itself back into the sand pretty quickly!

Edited: 6:16 pm, February 16, 2011
Menlo Park...
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4. Re: Fish ID in West Bay

I'm thinking skate, from the way you describe it. Also that it was in West Bay, which encourages rays and skates and flatfish with its sandy floor. The toadfish is indeed weird but not as you describe. Google the "splendid toadfish" which occurs only in Cozumel, if you want to see a lovely weird creature. But it's very shy and is rarely seen outside holes on the floor. That's what I love about Roatan, the immense variety of creatures, including corals I have only seen there. The very first time I dipped a toe in the water in West Bay I almost stepped on an eagle ray. That was pretty exciting to both me and the ray.

Burlington, Canada
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5. Re: Fish ID in West Bay

I saw the same guy....I think it was a type of flounder personally. Google flounder and you'll see some with bulgy eyes like that and they love to camouflage themselves in the sand. I took a photo of it but of course you can hardly see it as he is so camouflaged...but I remember the funny eyes bulging out and looking around.

Saskatoon, Canada
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141 posts
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6. Re: Fish ID in West Bay

yes I believe its a flounder as well....those eyes were crazy!!

Get this from wikipedia:

In its life cycle, an adult flounder has two eyes situated on one side of its head, where at hatching one eye is located on each side of its brain. One eye migrates to the other side of the body as a process of metamorphosis as it grows from larval to juvenile stage. As an adult, a flounder changes its habits and camouflages itself by lying on the bottom of the ocean floor as protection against predators.[1] As a result, the eyes are then on the side which faces up. The side to which the eyes migrate is dependent on the species type.

Now thats one crazy fish! So glad I had an opportunity to see it...one more reason to go back to Roatan...like I need another reason!

Saskatoon, Canada
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141 posts
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7. Re: Fish ID in West Bay

not my first time but first time seeing a flounder

last time i snorkelled was in the mayan riviera and never saw one there!

Illinois
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1,131 posts
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8. Re: Fish ID in West Bay

Flounder are fun to catch while fishing....and mighty good eats too.

Burlington, Canada
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9. Re: Fish ID in West Bay

Perogy....sent you a PM on this.

Alberta
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10. Re: Fish ID in West Bay

I have snorkelled in Maui, Kauai and St. Lucia but have never been fortunate enough to see flounder before. It's so much fun to watch them scooting over the sand. They appear to be a bit territorial and one more than one occasion I've seen them 'chasing' each other. Two days ago I watched as a flounder worked mightily to swallow a small fish whole. The flounder thrashed and flapped and I was convinced the little guy was dead but after one last violent thrash the small fish escaped, was chased across the sand and disappeared into the coral. Snorkelling in West Bay has exceeded all of my expectations.