They're bizarre-looking yet reclusive. They hop more than they swim. And they have human-style eyes in the front of their head instead of on the sides. So, yes, Psychedelica really is a new fish species.
University of Washington professor Ted Pietsch, who came up with the fish's psychedelic name, described it in an article in the current issue of Copeia, the journal of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. It's considered a new species of Frogfish, but it behaves in a manner no other fish does.
Besides the fact that it hops, bouncing off the sea floor and expelling water from tiny gill openings to propel itself forward, there are those eyes — in the front of its head, creating overlapping binocular vision. And its crazy-looking protective coloration never changes, although it's probably geared towards fitting in with some of the coral habitats on the sea floor. Each fish has its own distinctive striping pattern, like a fingerprint.
Psychedelica is reclusive, which may be why it's never been discovered until now. So is it a longstanding species, or a groovy mutation? [via Science Daily]