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CAn anyone ID this fish?

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Is this what I think it is? Went diving yesterday and this is a still taken from my video. The water was 59 degrees and was full of jellies and other particulates. Ok, this guy, he or she was at about 20 feet and I saw it fluttering and as soon as I dropped in on it it bowed up at me. It looked a lot like a lion fish however it had long trailing tentacles like it may have been specialized and had adapted to look like a jelly in order to catch unsuspecting prey. Cool stuff out there right now. Amazing actually. By the way, I'm in North Carolina, USA

post-24251-1238606500.jpg

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post-4226-1238613230.jpg

 

My buddy, Ren Chapman, shot some video of this critter earlier in the week (see attached "frame grab" image). It was about the size of a quarter and was found in ~20' of seawater offshore here in Wilmington, North Carolina. It had streaming tentacles and seemed to "flare up" and hold its ground rather than retreat when approached. To me it looks like a postlarval form of a lionfish. The water column was filled with myriad species of jellyfish...could it be that these guys mimic jelly's in early stages for protection? As you are probably aware we have been "invaded" by Lionfish over the last few years here on the east coast so it would make sense if it were indeed a species of Lionfish; however, tropicals begin to move into our area via the Gulf Stream this time of year and I'm often surprised at what we see this far "north"... Appreciate any comments/information...cheers...

 

Scott Marshall, P.E.

www.H2O-planet.com

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Well the date is April 1 - so my first thought is cool photoshopping.

 

But if this thing is real, that is really weird. I've got no idea what it is but I don't think it is a lionfish.

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what an amazing looking fish, I'd love to see the video. Thanks for posting. Do you think it's a juvenile Lophius americanus ?

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That is one cool fish!

 

Yes, I agree, offshore is the place to find amazing things in the water column!

 

Best & Thanks Again - so cool to see an amazing fish like that - lucky you and well done!!! Carol :turtle:

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Ren has forwarded the image to the Marine Science Department of University North Carolina @ Wilmington. They, in turn, passed it on to a Mr. David Johnson (Curator/Ichthyologist, Division of Fishes, National Museum of Natural History) who suggests it may be a "monkfish" (Lophius sp.?)... anyone else have an opinion?

 

Scott Marshall, P.E.

www.H2O-planet.com

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