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A Batfish looks nothing like a bat

By Slickrock Adventures on February 17, 2012

One of the many odd-looking creatures we see while diving and snorkeling at Adventure Island on Long Caye is the batfish, which actually looks nothing like a bat at all (baseball OR vampire). The species we have on Glover’s Reef is the Short-Nosed Batfish, but there are about 60 species of fishes of the family Ogcocephalidae (order Lophiiformes), found in warm and temperate seas; of which our Short-Nosed Batfish is a member.

Batfish can reach a size of around 15 inches, they grow extremely fast.  broad, flat heads; slim bodies covered with hard lumps and spines; some species have an elongated, upturned snout; about 14 in. long. They are poor swimmers and usually walk on the sea bottom on limblike pectoral and pelvic fins; most live in deep sea but some inhabit shallow water; members of a group known as anglerfish, are equipped with a “fishing pole” tipped with a fleshy “bait” to lure prey close enough to be eaten; unlike other anglers, can draw apparatus into a tube when not in use.

We love Batfish and see them quite often. It’s always a thrill to see one. The name “Batfish” holds special significance for us at Adventure Island because that is the name of our shuttle boat. Read more about our Belize shuttle boat here.