Pulau Hantu - A celebration of marine life

Secret lives and secret worlds hidden in Singapore's most popular coral reef.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Demons on Ghost Island?

There sure are! And we're proud to have them!

A kind of scorpionfish, Devilfishes Inimicus didactylus (also called sea goblins, bearded ghouls and demon stingers) have very special pectoral fin rays that can be moved independently from the rest of the fin. This looks as if the devilfish was walking over the ground. They look very clumsy and unwieldy because they also drag their extremely curved tails. The inner surface of their pectoral fins are brightly colored and they flash them if threatened. It can deliver a painful sting with its venomous dorsal spines. Sometimes several fish lie together.

Devilfishes occur on sand and mud bottoms close to reefs and in seagrass meadows. They often bury themselves in the substrate, making them hard to detect on the reef. Active mainly at night, this fish spreads its colorful fins when threatened.

This critter, a master of stealth, was photographed at Pulau Hantu on 21st November by Stanley aka. Photosmart, of the ClubSNAP forum. He is one of a group of photographers who visit our local waters regularly to discover for all of us, her astounding treasures!