Red Indianfish

Pataecus fronto
Image by Jwturnbull.

Red indianfish are uncommon fish and can be very hard to spot – they are easily overlooked as they look exactly like a sponge, and usually sit still on the bottom – next to a piece of sponge that it resembles!

Red indianfish can swim but when it does it looks like a dead leaf sinking through the water. They reach a maximum of 35cm and range in colour, from scarlet, to red and orange. It gets its name from its dorsal fin which stretches all the way down its back, making it look like it is wearing a North American Indian headpiece. The red indianfish is known to periodically shed its skin, which rids the fish of encrusting biota, and improves its camouflage. They are only found in Australia.