Strange things in our Key Largo canal

My neighbor installed an underwater light in our canal, in Key Largo, and many of his neighbors came to see what it attracted.  These are knowledgeable, educated, marine-oriented people, fishers and divers.  We saw two things we had not seen before.

1.  We saw a fish with wing-like appendages, with fins on the end of each wing that look like a fan.  Someone said there was also a "fan" at the end of the tail.  It must have been a foot to a foot-and-a-half in length.  Overall it was reminiscent of a skate or a ray.  I am assuming it is some species of batfish.  Any help?

2.  We saw what I now think might be a flatworm, perhaps a splendid flatworm.  Whatever we saw, we saw several of them, at least ten, and we have seen them for several days.  They are sort of squiggly things, an inch or two long.  They "swim" mostly vertically, by undulating their flexible fringes, that run along both sides of their bodies.  It is very rhythmic, balletic, beautiful.  They look dark brown to me, but I saw them from land; I did not see any color on the fringes, but I did not have a close-up view.  Do you know what we are seeing?

Thank You,


Underwater camera available


I have an underwater (cabled) camera setup that can attach to a monitor or video camera to get a closer look at your visitors (& post pictures??).  I'd be happy to lend it to you.  Having your light source separate from the LEDs surrounding the camera lens will hopefully eliminate the backscatter from waterborne particles and tiny creatures.



What a great idea, and what a generous offer.  I am forwarding your post to my neighbor, who owns the u/w light.

 Thank You,


flying gurnard

Could the fish be a flying gurnard?

Are you on the bayside or

Are you on the bayside or oceanside?  I've seen batfish on the bayside in Tarpon Basin.  They don't move much at all.  As for the flatworm, I can picture exactly what you are talking about but can't think of the name.  I call them spanish dancers but I know that's not what it is. 

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