Juvenile Spotted Drumfish
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It's not hard to understand why Spotted Drumfish are popular finds amongst divers, being so cute and quite unique in appearance and movement. Next to the hand signal for a shark, the two handed drumming signal for the Drumfish is probably the most recognizable - and most fun to do. Also known as Croakers, this species got it's name for the croaking or drumming sound it sometimes makes by beating it's abdominal muscles against it's swim bladder. Personally, I've never heard this sound! It's attractive long fins seem more ornamental than of practical purpose although I wonder if the long streaming front dorsal fin and tail confuses potential predators as it darts around. Somewhat tricky to find during the day as they stay near the protection of holes and overhangs, they are fairly common at night. This tiny juvenile, 2.5 inches in length, was busy feeding on a school of very small fish fry at the entrance to a lobster cave.. both of whom had no qualms about my presence. It will grow to 6-8 inches in length and of course, as per it's name, develop spots along it's rear dorsal fin and tail.
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