5 What Basic Functions Must Animals Do To Stay Alive Tips on Red-Lipped Batfish Care

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Tips on Red-Lipped Batfish Care

Red-lipped batfish or Ogcocepphalus darwini belongs to the Ogcocephalidae family. This fish is endemic to the waters surrounding the Galapagos Islands, Coco Island and Costa Rica. These are the last inhabitants that usually occupy depths in the 100 foot range.

The red-lipped batfish is undoubtedly one of the strangest marine specimens. His body is very compressed horizontally. Despite their name, these batfish bear only a vague resemblance to the shape of the animal after which they are named. Clearly this particular species has red lips.

This species has two distinctive evolutionary traits in common with another group of strange-looking bottom-dwelling fishes known as anglerfish or frogfish. Both are poor swimmers and rely heavily on modified filament structures to walk on the ocean floor. Both have dorsal fins that are fitted to the spine like appendages on their heads that are used to calm their prey. These unique creatures actually go fishing for their dinners. This is achieved by using a plugin known as illicium. Illiciums are a thin, thread-like extension that can be projected or cast out in front of their bodies, much like a fisherman casting out his fishing line. They have a second evolutionary adaptation known as an esca. Escas are thicker membranes on the tip of the illicium which have the same function as placing a lure on the end of a fishing line. Unlike frogs, batfish have an elongated snout that rests above their fishing appendages and serves to protect them from harm. The coloring of both these fish, although not the same, serves as a natural means of camouflage to aid them in catching prey. This naked fish is brown with spikes on its upper body and blends in quite well with the ocean floor.

Because of its predatory nature, the nocturnal fish is not considered a good inhabitant of community tanks. They are actually quite docile in nature. These are relatively small fish. They only grow to 3.5-5 inches as an adult. If you want to get one, make sure its tankmates aren’t small enough to be lured and eaten. These fish inhabit the deepest waters in their natural environment. They will require a dimly lit aquarium.

This is a carnivorous creature. In nature, their diet consists mainly of small fish, crustaceans and molluscs. Live food may be required to help them adapt better to a captive environment. Since this species is rarely kept in home aquariums, they are not known to breed in captivity.

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