A Rare Find – Polka-Dot Batfish

The gauntlet was thrown down.  Sandro (his photo is on the bottom) found one of these rare Polka-dot Batfish at San Clemente and I challenged Pumbaa to do the same on a recent dive – and darned if he didn’t do it!  This species of batfish is quite rare, but if you’re a patient and alert observer, you can find them hiding in sandy bottoms, seagrass beds, coral rubble and even mud from North Carolina to Florida’s panhandle; the northern Bahamas; and the Yucatan Peninsula.  Batfish live anywhere from the shallows of the shoreline to as deep as 230 feet.  A bottom-dweller, this strange-looking creature isn’t designed to move quickly to chase its prey; instead it ‘walks’  crab-like on it’s pectoral fins along the sea floor.  The dorsal fin is more like a spine and it acts as a lure to attract food within striking distance of the batfish.  They only grow to 15″ maximum, but most are smaller and feast on shrimps, small crabs, worms, molluscs and juvenile fish.  The polka-dots serve as camouflage and the batfish usually looks like it is covered by warts; but, they are actually small nodules called tubercles.  If they sense a diver is near, they may bury themselves with sand, so be patient and go slowly, and you too may get a photo like one of these.  Thanks to our good client Yuval Tamari for sharing your great photos (the first 3 shots in this post), and thanks to Sandro and Pumbaa, for knowing how to find these elusive critters!

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About Blue Magic Scuba

Blue Magic Scuba provides their guests with a unique “Valet” dive experience. We set-up your equipment, help you gear-up and when the dives are over, we take it to our shop and rinse, dry and prepare it for the next day’s dive, leaving you to enjoy the rest of your day hassle free!! A true, “Personal Valet Dive Experience” all this and more at no additional cost!! Our fast, comfortable boats get you to the best reefs quickly and comfortably, reefs rarely visited and wonderfully packed with life and unique corals and rock formations. Many times we finish our 1st dive and are on our way to our 2nd dive before anybody else even arrives! All our boats are fully equipped with Marine radios, canopies for shade, towels, bottled water, Fresh Fruits & Snacks, Oxygen and most importantly, professional PADI DiveMasters whose vast local experience guarantees you will have the best possible dive. Additionally, Blue Magic Scuba offers exciting Hotel and Dive Packages at affordable rates. www.bluemagicscuba.com
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