Happy Hallowe’en, everyone! We love the tradition of dressing up, eating way too much junk food and celebrating all things scary. Every day from now until Hallowe’en (October 31st), we will be featuring a new spooktastic sea creature. Can you think of any Hallowe’en themed sea creatures?
Today’s Hallowe’en creature is… the batfish! Bats are traditionally used in Hallowe’en decorations, possibly because of their link to vampires such as Dracula. Dracula could assume a bat form when he wanted to get away unnoticed. We wonder if he turned into a batfish when he went swimming?
The California batfish, Myliobatis californica, (also known as the bat ray) is actually an eagle ray, a cartilaginous fish like all rays, sharks and skates. It’s found in the eastern Pacific and around the Galapagos Islands. There is no fishery for batfish in the US but they are regularly caught and eaten in Mexico. They are listed as a species of least concern by the IUCN.
Fun fact: Batfish have one to three venomous spines on their tails, but their mothers have nothing to fear. When a batfish pup is born, its stinging spines are pliable and covered with a sheath that they will shed later. The spine will harden and be ready for defense within a few days.
Stay tuned for more Ghosts and Gills from us. In the meantime, we would love to hear about any ocean-themed Hallowe’en parties and costumes you have planned. Check out our Ocean Hallowe’en Pinterest board where we have been collecting sea creature costume ideas and please send us more to inspire us!