Today we have a walking fish from the deep waters of the Galapagos Islands who goes by the name of the Red-Lipped Batfish (because it’s far easier to pronounce than Ogcocephalus darwini). Though that last bit of the scientific name is a shout-out to Darwin, since he would have really loved this fish. Due to some incredible evolutionary adaptations to its fins, its able to “walk” along the floor of the sea. This is super helpful as they are actually terrible swimmers since their fins have effectively turned into legs.
To attract prey, the red-lipped batfish uses a shiny lure that comes out of its head once it gets really nice and close to its victim. This is successful in attracting many small delicacies such as crabs, mollusks and shrimp who are also apparently blind. As for the really red lips, some scientists believe that this is what males use to show off to females during mating season. Apparently “drag lips” are all the rage in this species and a female batfish likes a man who’s comfortable enough in his greenish skin to wear a little Jungle Red lipstick now and then.
Unlike many of these strange and unusual creatures featured this month, the red-lipped batfish doesn’t have any immediate threats and should be hanging out with us for a long time. Well, not with us, as most of use are not going to be walking along the seafloor anytime soon, but at least on the same planet. It’s quite comfort to know that somewhere off the coast of the Galapagos Islands, deep below the surface of the water, there’s a little fish walking around, wearing full makeup and patiently waiting for its next passionate kiss.
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham watercolors: Azo Green, Pyrrol Red, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Teal, Neutral Tint and Titanium White Gouache. Sennelier L’aqaurelle: Opera Rose. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal