Rare batfish seen in East End

Dwight and Jennifer Bodden had quite the surprise when they recently went swimming off the coast of East End. In about 7 feet of water, they spied a creature they had never seen before, sitting on the sea floor. 

“When I first saw it, I thought it was an alien-looking thing,” said Dwight Bodden. “Then I went closer to see if it was real, and as I got really close it started walking away across the bottom.” 

Fascinated by the animal, the pair captured it and put it in a large saltwater aquarium to see if they could find out more about it.  

“Ocean Frontiers identified it as a short-nosed batfish,” Jennifer said. “Apparently it is quite rare in these waters. Dwight has swum all around [Grand Cayman] since he was a child and 
he’s never seen one.” 

The short-nosed batfish, also known as a walking batfish, belongs to the order Lophiiformes, to which anglerfish also belong. According to walkingbatfish.com: “Some of the better known members of the Lophiiformes are [monkfishes and frogfishes]. 

“Batfishes are small benthic fishes found worldwide in tropical to subtropical seas, generally on continental shelves and slopes on flat, relatively open bottom habitats of rubble, sand, and mud.” 

Also read our very popular articles on other Cayman marine life: 

2012: Moray eel bit off a bit more than he could possibly chew 

2007: Small fish takes big bite

Small Fish eats Big Fish


It’s not difficult to see how the batfish got its name.
Photo: Submitted


  1. Nice find. There is only one other place that I know this fish is found, and that is in Tibit China, and even there it is under protection now.

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