This is why after several years of diving I never get bored. On another beautiful day of diving in Roatan, I found one of the peculiar looking fish of our reefs.
Second morning dive, no wind, no waves and clear waters, perfect day to visit Blue Channel, 40 minutes in to the dive, i was leading the group to this big sandy area inside the lagoon. This is one of the sites where I know that if you explore there are always something odd to see.
And I wasn’t wrong! a Flying Gurnard, after checking my divers I looked at the side and it was there without moving, I recognized it immediately, I have seen it before, but how long ago, 2 years? I am not sure.
The Flying Gurnards are a family, Dactylopteridae, notable for their greatly enlarged pectoral fins. Also known as Atlantic Flying Gurnard, Flying Fish, Sea Robin, Grunt Fish and Grondin Volant. It is a carnivorous bottom dweller, they have been observed to “walk” along sandy sea floors while looking for crustaceans and other small invertebrates by using their pelvic fins.
They possess a swim bladder with two lobes and a “drumming muscle” that can beat against the swim bladder to produce sounds. They have heavy, protective, scales, and the undersides of their huge pectoral fins are brightly colored.
Flying gurnards never fly, however, get around in an unusual way for a fish: the first few forward rays of these fins are free of membranes, enabling the walking fish to dig into the sand. As it moves, the gurnard usually keeps its giant pectoral fins folded at its side.