Some new videos, the Fingered dragonet (Dactylopus dactylopus)

It’s been a while since we had a new video to post, and this will be a quick one, but it is a pretty interesting fish. We recently got some new fish in the lab, including some dragonets from the family Callionymidae. These fish are mainly found in the Indo-West Pacific in tropical waters and are typically benthic. Some from the genus Synchiropus are found in the hobby industry, but are apparently tough to maintain because they feed on benthic invertebrates. We have two species in the lab currently and have started trying to film them. One, we have had some success with, the fingered dragonet (Dactylopus dactylopus). From the videos below you can see a couple of interesting features of this fish, one is that the first two fin rays of the ventral fins are modified for walking along the bottom. This is similar to Inimicus didactylus, which you can see in a few posts back, that has the first two pectoral fins rays modified for walking. The other unique feature of this fish is the way it feeds, which is pretty different than a lot of the videos we have posted, and the topic of Sarah’s (new grad student in the Wainwright lab) dissertation. It has some pretty unique jaw protrusion!

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