Volume 4    Number 13

Peacock Flounder: Master of Disguise
at The Strip Reef near Bimini, The Bahamas

Peacock Flounder

Nobody beats the Peacock Flounder at hiding in the open. The Peacock Flounder is an unusual fish that can change colors to hide itself. It is a lurk-and-lunge hunter that tries to match the pattern on the bottom as it hides and waits for its meal. Notice that it has two eyes on the same side of its head. Although it is born with one eye on each side of its head, one eye moves across the top of its head as it gets older. This fish is laying on its right side. Both of its eyes are on its left cheek as you can tell by looking at its mouth. When this Peacock Flounder swims it looks like a wiggling doormat.

A master of disguise, this fish has been able to match the pattern of a checkerboard in some laboratory experiments.

The Peacock Flounder gets its name from its pattern of blue rings across its body, like the spots on the plumage of a peacock. Also notice this Flounder's long pectoral fin sticking up from its side.

This picture first appeared on the ReefNews CD-ROM "Bimini: Jewel of the Gulf Stream." You also can read more about the island of Bimini and its reefs on the ReefNews website, at http://www.reefnews.com/reefnews/oceangeo/bimini/bimini.html.



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