Crocodile Fish Koh Tao
Learn about Crocodile Fish Koh Tao
Crocodile Fish spend their time dwelling on the bottom of the Ocean floor watching scuba divers who are oblivious to their presence.
If you are lucky enough to see one, you will realise they are actual hiding in plain sight of you.
Where to find the Crocodile Fish on Koh Tao
Crocodile Fish can be found at many of the shallow dive sites around Koh Tao with Twin Peaks and White Rock being two of the locations commonly visited by scuba divers where you will find them.
How to identify the Crocodile Fish
As they are closely related to the scorpion fish, Crocodile fish have the same Jurassic appearance with a mottled green, brown camouflage pattern all over its body.
Their pectoral fins are able to flatten out to the side to assist with being as flat as possible on the sandy sea bed.
The eyes of Crocodile Fish are the same colour and pattern as their bodies and they also have a small tentacle on the top eye lid making them even more difficult to see.
Flat Jaw with an Underbite
As their name suggests, the main feature that identifies them is a flat jaw-like mouth similar to that of a crocodile.
Their bottom jaw is slightly bigger which causes an under bite and if you can get close enough, you will be able to see their teeth.
Crocodile Fish Characteristics & Behaviour
A Crocodile Fish is a master of camouflage and they can be found motionless in sandy or rubble areas near the sea floor.
Any varied topography is ideal for the Crocodile Fish as it can be a perfect match for their body color.
Crocodile Fish often choose a location near to Coral or rocks where there is food nearby and an area where they can blend into the background.
They are extremely patient predators and will lay in wait ready to ambush smaller fish that swim over the top of them and when they do, they will strike with a quick, upward snapping motion.
The strike speed of Crocodile Fish is incredibly fast and the protruding underbite helps them to drag prey back down whilst their razor-sharp teeth prevent prey from escaping.
Their diet is known to be adaptable to whatever food source is available and they will eat just about anything that they can fit inside their mouth.
Interesting facts about the Crocodile Fish
Most flat bottom-dwelling fish can be seen due to their protruding eyes and the Crocodile Fish uses a layer of skin to hide the sockets of their eyes and these flaps of skin are known as lappets.
Crocodile Fish are sizeable marine animals who can reach up to 50cm in length and are extremely confident in their ability to camouflage themselves.
Master of Camouflage
If a scuba diver approaches, they will remain motionless and sometimes they will erect their dorsal fin in a gesture of you may have seen me, but I saw you first attitude.
Juvenile Crocodile Fish are completely black in colour and will remain in extremely shallow rocky waters until they begin to mature and grow their camouflaged armour.