Riviera Maya Fish Fridays-Toad Fish

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Common Name: Splendid Toad Fish

Latin Name: Sanopus Splendidus

Location: Common in Cozumel. Apparently endemic, not reported elsewhere.

Distinct Features and Information: The Splendid Toad fish is quite an interesting fish. This toadfish is unique in that it has only been found in one place. Cozumel Island, Mexico. The splendid toadfish is a sluggish, bottom-dwelling species, which is usually found in or around small rocky caves below coral colonies. It usually feeds by ambush, remaining still until prey comes within range, before making a quick lunge and engulfing the animal in its large jaws. This species diet mainly consists of small fish, mollusks, crustaceans and polychaete worms. Size: up to 4-6 in. (25,2cm).

Special Status or Protections: The highly restricted range of the splendid toadfish means that even a small-scale local environmental disturbance could have a catastrophic effect on its population. At present, the core population of this species around Cozumel Island is threatened by uncontrolled urban growth associated with the burgeoning tourist industry. Without intervention, as coastal development continues, sewage discharges will progressively degrade and destroy the splendid toadfish’s coral reef habitat. Despite the protected status, tourist development remains problematic, although ongoing efforts are being made to manage this threat.

Toad Fish Juvenile

Toad Fish Intermediate

Toad Fish

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