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A new species of frogfish, related to the one above, has been identified in Indonesia.

New “Psychedelic” Fish Species Identified

March 02, 2009 12:30 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
A new frogfish with psychedelic markings found off the Indonesian coast is the latest animal to be discovered recently.

Scuba Instructors First to See New Fish

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Histiophryne psychedelica is a frogfish species that has beige and peach stripes swirling around its body. What makes this fish different from other frogfish is how it moves, according to National Geographic, which has a video of the fish on its site. 

“Each time the fish strike the seabed, for instance, they push off with their fins and expel water from tiny gill openings to jet themselves forward,” the magazine reported. The fish’s off-centered tail, combined with its manner of movement “cause them to bounce around in a bizarre, chaotic manner,” National Geographic wrote.

Frogfish are carnivores, and Chicago's Shedd Aquarium describes them as "masters of deception" because they can blend in with the background and even change color over the course of weeks. 

“A frogfish’s mouth cavity can expand to 12 times its size, allowing it to ingest prey that are 25 percent longer,” according to the aquarium. 

Frogfish also have a fleshy antenna that dangles from their heads. It wiggles and looks like a worm or other tasty treat to entice unsuspecting fish. If it's bitten off the frogfish can regrow it.

There are nearly 50 species, and an entire Web site devoted to frogfish has pictures of many of them, along with maps of their habitats.

Background: Recent Discoveries

In the last few months, scientists have announced amazing finds in Central America and Africa.

During a three-week journey to the mountainous Tacarcuna area of the Darien, near the border with Panama, researchers from Conservation International and Ecotropica Foundation found 60 types of amphibians, 20 reptiles and 120 bird species, including the harlequin frog, a salamander, a snake that has yet to be identified and a small lizard.

Scientists also found several Central American creatures that were recorded for the first time in the region, including the Bolitoglossa taylori salamander, and the Pristimantis pirrensis rain frog.

“Without a doubt, this region is a true Noah's Ark. The high number of new amphibian species is a sign of hope, even with the serious threat of extinction that this animal group faces in many other regions of the country and the world,” said Jose Vicente Rodriguez-Mahecha, scientific director of Conservation International Colombia.

Last year, conservationists discovered a treasure trove of biodiversity in previously uncharted territory in the southern African nation of Mozambique using the Internet mapping tool Google Maps.

A British expedition of scientists to a mountainous forest called Mount Mabu found that the area is home to hundreds of plant species, birds, butterflies and monkeys.

The 27-square-mile forest was being called a “Lost World” and a “hidden paradise,” filled to the brim with exotic plants, insects and animals including three new species of Lepidoptera butterly and a new member of the poisonous Gaboon viper family of snakes.

The phenomenal diversity is just mind-boggling: seeing how things are adapted to little niches, to me this is the incredible thing,” said Kew expedition leader Jonathan Timberlake, according to Mongabay. “Even today we cannot say we know all the world’s key areas for biodiversity—there are still new ones to discover.”

The Greater Mekong River region in Southeast Asia was also recently found to be home to more than 1,068 new species, including a hot-pink dragon millipede and the Laotian rock rat. The World Wildlife Fund says in a new report that recent finds include 519 plants, 279 fish, 88 frogs, 88 spiders, 46 lizards, 22 snakes, 15 mammals, four birds, four turtles, two salamanders, a toad and thousands of new invertebrates.

Researchers now say that the Greater Mekong area, which includes Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and the southern Chinese province of Yunnan, is among the most biodiverse places on the Earth.

While concerns about extinction and endangerment continue to dampen the spirits of wildlife researchers, several new species have been discovered in recent months, including a new species of snake called “Leptotyphlops carlae” in Barbados, a new type of fungus and a new species of dolphin.
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