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A most likely new species


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#1 davichin

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 01:01 AM

A few days ago a friend spotted a rare animal. Nobody knew what it was so they sent the pictures to the biologists in the islands (Canary Islands) in order to get a name. They had never seen it before and now they want to hunt it for which we will not accept nor give the location (if they have never seen it being relatively big is probably because there are not many of them... anyway, someone will call us coralhuggers or some other nonsense but it is fine :B): ).

These are the pictures because maybe you have seen it somewhere else :)



Posted Image



Posted Image
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#2 Autopsea

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 02:28 AM

Would still be interesting to get a small skin sample, maybe a hybrid or mutant of some snake-eel. probably unique individual :B): good one.

Maybe some Brachysomophis. If they do like conger, when they get very old they start to loose shape, a bit like salmons, before they go back deep for the final mating.

Edited by Autopsea, 09 November 2011 - 02:35 AM.


#3 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 02:51 AM

What a beast! Maybe it has been scared into the shallows by the new island.

Facebook says: Echiophis punctifer. No idea on the reliability of this ID.

Which is found on both sides of the Atlantic.

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#4 elbuzo

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 08:07 AM

Cool and scary !

I think i saw a very similar one at Dominica earlier this year . I will look for the pic .

#5 davichin

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 09:57 AM

What a beast! Maybe it has been scared into the shallows by the new island.

:B): the "new island" is giving a lot of trouble!

Facebook says: Echiophis punctifer. No idea on the reliability of this ID.

Which is found on both sides of the Atlantic.

Alex


To me it does not look at all like that (from google search anyway...). It would look more like Echiophis intertinctus although it is not exactly the same either imho...

http://www.thefeatur...l#axzz1dDgpOAtQ

But the one who identified it and told the spanish biologists is John E. McCosker, that has to know very well these fish:

http://research.cala...#tabs-profile-2
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#6 reefnet

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 05:14 PM

:B): the "new island" is giving a lot of trouble!


To me it does not look at all like that (from google search anyway...). It would look more like Echiophis intertinctus although it is not exactly the same either imho...

http://www.thefeatur...l#axzz1dDgpOAtQ

But the one who identified it and told the spanish biologists is John E. McCosker, that has to know very well these fish:

http://research.cala...#tabs-profile-2


John McCosker is a world expert on snake eels. I think he would agree that based on the photos alone one cannot distinguish whether it's E. intertinctus (spotted spoon-nose eel) or E. punctifer (snapper eel). However, E. intertinctus has never been reported from the eastern Atlantic, while E. punctifer has been reported from Sierra Leone and south to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Based on location, there is a high probability that this is E. punctifer. This sighting would be a significant range extension for E. punctifer.

In our DVD field guide we indicate how to unambiguously separate the two species:

"The feature used by ichthyologists to most reliably distinguish this species from E. intertinctus is the nature of its preopercular pores. These are small openings on the lower side of the head, slightly behind the mouth and in front of the opercle. E. intertinctus has 2 rather inconspicuous pores, while E. punctifer has three pores, each one usually surrounded by dark pigment."

Unfortunately, those pores are not visible in the photos.

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#7 davichin

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 08:59 AM

It made the front page of the local printed newspaper:



Posted Image



Along with very bad economic news...
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#8 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 09:44 AM

That's great.

Although not the strangest sight I have seen from the ocean today:
http://www.facebook....299132936773020

He looks familiar but it is hard to tell as the distinguishing features are not visible in this photo.

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#9 rodriguezfelix

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 12:25 PM

I believe is the same as this fellow here:

GA2_29.jpg

If is so, is actually pretty common in the caribbean... More pale than this one too.. more like yours..

I saw them in sandy bottoms in Bonaire and Venezuelan Coast

http://wetpixel.com/...mp;hl=venezuela

Brachysomophis was the last closer bet...

#10 Rocha

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 02:33 PM

John McCosker's office is next door to mine, we just looked at the photos again and think it is an Echiophis, and very likely Echiophis punctifer, but we can't be sure without looking at a photo showing more of the fish (or ideally examine the specimen). But either way it is an interesting new record to the Canaries as those species usually don't occur in waters that cold.

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#11 davichin

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 04:13 PM

That's great.

Although not the strangest sight I have seen from the ocean today:
http://www.facebook....299132936773020

He looks familiar but it is hard to tell as the distinguishing features are not visible in this photo.

Alex


JEJEEEEEEEEE!!! I am pretty sure I could identify it very well!!!

At least I hid my face from public laugh! :B): all in all I took this pic:

Posted Image

Which given the conditions made me happy!
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#12 Scubamoose

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 06:54 AM

JEJEEEEEEEEE!!! I am pretty sure I could identify it very well!!!

At least I hid my face from public laugh! :) all in all I took this pic:

Which given the conditions made me happy!


LOL :B):
A great picture - no matter how it's taken!!!
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