Weird-looking fish caught in Pensacola sparks silly speculation

Florida news reports than a strange fish was caught off Pensacola pier. They call it “prehistoric-looking”. It is being studied by the FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute posted it on their Facebook page asking people to guess. It always amazes me that the Facebook viewers seem to come up with very plausible solutions.

But before the reasonable people are heard, you MUST throw every weird fish option in the book at it (because anyone can be an expert guesser) as well as blame the BP oil spill, Fukushima radiation, and human pollution!

Bizarre fish caught off Pensacola pier – WFLA News Channel 8.

When you go to the Facebook page that has all the photos, a few commentators have suggested this is a “jellynose“. A comparison does match really well (see below) though the specimen looks a bit worse for wear. Not prehistoric, not a mutant, not unknown, just not well-known because it’s rarely caught in these waters. A DNA test is being conducted to confirm the ID.

It must be so much fun to find weird fishes but it’s also fun to figure out what it is.




Head of a jellynose fish from the Australian Museum.

  4 comments for “Weird-looking fish caught in Pensacola sparks silly speculation

  1. drwfishesman
    May 18, 2014 at 6:04 PM

    at first I thought it was a roundnose grenadier, but it doesn’t have the pectoral fins it has the spinettes.

  2. Roger
    May 18, 2014 at 10:01 PM

    It is probably a jellynose of jellyhead, however this family is not endemic to the Atlantic occurring only in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. It is not a chimera. There are four genera. It resembles Ateleopus purpureus or possibly A. natalensis but, again, these are found only in the Indian Ocean……………….

  3. May 19, 2014 at 8:27 AM

    References please…

  4. Roger
    May 19, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    It appears that Ijimaia loppei Roule, 1922 is the only speces of Ateleopodidae which has a range and appearance that could match the “wierd fish” caught in Florida. If you Google the taxon you will see the resemblance, especially in mouth.

    Here is the reference and entry for I. loppei >>>

    Eschmeyer, W. N. (ed). CATALOG OF FISHES: GENERA, SPECIES, REFERENCES. ( Electronic version accessed dd mmm 2014. [This version was edited by Bill Eschmeyer.]

    loppei, Ijimaia Roule [L.] 1922:641 [Comptes rendus hebdomadaires des séances de l’Académie des Sciences. v. 174; ref. 15378] Morocco coast, 20 miles from Agadir, 31°10’N, 10°12’W, depth 350-400 meters. Holotype: MNHN 1922-0033. Paratypes: MHNLR P.265 (1). Type catalog: Aloncle 1968:684-685 [ref. 20713]. •Valid as Ijimaia loppei Roule 1922 — (Paxton 1973:215 [ref. 7183], Shimizu in Uyeno et al. 1983:284 [ref. 14275], Paxton in Whitehead et al. 1986:529 [ref. 13676], Smith 1986:406 [ref. 5712], Costa & Quéro 1990:644 [ref. 17377], Bianchi & Carpenter in Bianchi et al. 1993:148 [ref. 25472], Puzon & Serrano 1998:297 [ref. 23582], McEachran & Fechhelm 1998:547 [ref. 23897], Lasso-Alcalá et al. 2005:171 [ref. 28938]). Current status: Valid as Ijimaia loppei Roule 1922. Ateleopodidae. Distribution: Atlantic. Habitat: marine.

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