A completely new family of fishes may have been discovered in the coral beds of Indonesia. Dive company owners, Buck and Fitrie Randolph of Maluku Divers spotted the fish in January but waited to photograph additional specimens before contacting the experts. Interviewed by Seattle PI, University of Washington ichthyologist Ted Pietsch, who specializes in anglerfish, said it was unlike anything he had ever seen, sputtering “I’m still thrilled. It’s an incredible thing. It’s remarkable.”
The pink-and-tan striped frogfish cannot be identified by any fish experts so far. While Pietsch is relatively sure it is a type of frogfish, given the sheath on the eggs and arm-like fins, there are some strong differentiators: It lacks a lure, has tiny pelvic fins and, most bizarrely, has a flat face with forward facing eyes. Typically a fish’s eyes are on opposite sides of their head rather than side by side like human eyes. This means it is possible that this fish has binocular vision for improved depth perception and/or the fish has x-ray vision that allows it to look through female human bathing suits – an evolutionary adaptation Kevin Z of Deep Sea News has been working on in the lab for years.
The DNA is currently being analyzed by graduate student slaves. If actually a new species, Pietsch intends to name it Thefourinchfishus Thatgavemylifemeaningus.