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    siphonophore fish depicted on an unofficial postage stamp launched by the self-proclaimed
    Georgian state of Abkhazia in 1998 (NB – its erstwhile genus has been
    misspelled on this stamp as Kasidorom,
    as a substitute of Kasidoron) (public area)

    can deceive, in additional methods than one, as exemplified right here by the really exceptional
    case of two very completely different fishes that turned out to be one and the identical. Let
    me clarify.

    1965, a small however spectacular fish known as Kasidoron edom was described
    in a Bulletin of Marine Science paper
    by C. Richard Robins and Donald P. de Sylva from the College of Miami’s Institute
    of Marine Science (click on right here to entry this paper). Sole member
    of a very new genus and taxonomic household
    (till a second, comparable species, Okay. latifrons, was recorded in 1969, from
    the western Indian Ocean), it turned generally known as the siphonophore fish.

    Drawings by Catherine Hale of
    the siphonophore fish, from the above-mentioned Bulletin of Marine Science
    paper by C. Richard Robins and Donald P. de Sylva (© Catherine
    Hale/C. Richard Robins/Donald P. de Sylva/Bulletin
    of Marine Science
    – reproduced right here on a strictly non-commercial truthful use foundation
    for academic/evaluate functions solely)

    was resulting from its astonishing pelvic fins. These have been vastly modified, the third ray in each having
    reworked into a protracted, multi-branched tree-like organ dubbed the pelvic tree,
    hanging beneath its physique, terminating in a collection of luminous(?), leaf-like sacs, and intently resembling the tentacular appendages
    of these superficially jellyfish-like composite creatures the siphonophores
    (exemplified by the well-known Portuguese man-o’-war Physalia).

    at the moment solely from waters of round 6-165 ft depth, about 150 miles east of
    Florida’s Cape Canaveral and northeast of Bermuda, this 1.25-in-long
    velvet-black fish attracted considerable curiosity, on account of its conjoined
    pelvic fins’ distinctive, extraordinary construction. This was assumed to be a tool
    for keeping off predators, as they might be more likely to mistake its innocent type
    for the lethal stinging tentacles of real siphonophores.

    Two siphonophore fish pictures
    found by me lately
    right here on the Quora
    web site (No copyright/possession particulars for them are given there, and regardless of appreciable
    on-line searches I’ve been unable to find any both, so I’m together with these
    images on a strictly non-commercial Honest Use foundation for academic/evaluate functions

    a time, nevertheless, the rest of this fish’s anatomy started to obtain
    consideration too, and researches finally disclosed that despite its
    distinctive look the siphonophore fish was not a brand new species in any respect.

    the opposite, it was unmasked because the hitherto-unknown juvenile type of an odd
    little species known as the gibber fish (aka gibberfish) Gibberichthyes
    , which had been formally described and named in 1933. It had been
    found within the waters round Bermuda and the Bahamas.

    Sketch of the gibber fish G. pumilis (Haplochromis/Wikipedia – public
    area); click on
    right here to view a color {photograph} of a gibber fish.

    recognized solely from 4 specimens, this deepwater denizen attains a complete size
    of 4.5 in, and inhabits the western North Atlantic, in addition to the South
    Pacific waters near the Samoan Islands. With a really massive head, a deep,
    laterally flattened physique, and completely regular fins missing any vestige of its
    juvenile’s astounding tentacle-impersonating pelvic tree, the gibber fish is
    positioned inside a taxonomic household of its personal, most akin to the squirrelfishes
    and slimeheads.

    because the second siphonophore fish species, Okay.
    , has additionally been reclassified as a gibber fish, it’s now generally known as G. latifrons.


    The complete set of unofficial
    Abkhazia postage stamps, which incorporates not solely the siphonophore fish stamp
    (backside left) but additionally a stamp depicting the bushy fish [see below for details]
    (prime left) (public area)

    a really comparable situation of maximum metamorphosis from juvenile to grownup was extra lately revealed with one other enigmatic,
    extremely distinctive little fish that had lengthy puzzled ichthyologists – the
    so-called bushy fish Mirapinna esau. You
    can examine its personal very intriguing historical past right here on ShukerNature, and likewise right here in an early cryptozoology article
    of mine reproduced on ShukerNature.

    This ShukerNature
    weblog article is expanded from my e-book The
    Encyclopaedia of New and Rediscovered Animals