Thursday, July 5, 2012

Scorpionopsis sp.- hairy scorpionfish of flasher

Scorpionopsis sp.
Anilao, Philippines

The latest dive season once again produced some incredible finds. The ID shot above is a perfect axample of the amazing critters we have here in Anilao, Philippines. I thought this was a stonefish at first as it was accompasnied by a smaller white stoney but as it turns out i couldnt have been further from the truth.

Initially i shot a few photos and then swam away seeking the critter we came to find in the first place.
Then after a few minutes i realized that the critter i swam away from was very unique and infact something i had never seen before.

Scorpionopsis sp.Head on View
I turned back to find the critter once again but you know how elusive these slow moving creatures can be. I finally did find it and yet again was pulled away, but not after i snapped some ID pics.

 In the first image (very top) by the angle of the photo it appears to be a stonefish, upturned mouth, eyes far apart and at the top of its head.
   It was suggested to me that perhaps it is a Scorpionfish and so i turned back to my images and found the second round of snaps. Indeed looking at the head-on image its a dead ringer for a scorpionfish and from the looks of it a flasher or Scorpaenopsis macrochir.

Not happy with that answer i sent it to the powers that be and the consensus judging by the photo is...Insert drum roll here...

It is NOT a flasher and refer to it as Scorpionopsis sp. we have never seen a scorpionfish like this so hairy or ornate. An FB friend commented on the eye looking like a reptilian bat. At first i bocked but hey, it really does look like a bat,,,amazing!
Scorpionopsis sp
It looks like a little Chinese dragon to me, but there it is....what a spectacular critter!

The new divesite has produced some astounding finds so far and this oddity is just the begining of it...
Stay Posted!!

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