Unidentified fish in Portobelo


I found this fish at a rocky wall. The fish was about 18 inches, from head to tail. It laid there motionless (except for the tail) while we took pictures of it, allowing us to get extremely close, seeming totally unafraid of divers. The area's composition was mainly debris, big boulders and some dead coral. Depth about 45 feet. Location, Portobelo, Caribbean side of Panama, Central America.
Anyone have an idea as to what this critter may be???
Thanks for you help,


It's difficult to make out details on the fish. There are many barbels on the fish, more so than usual. Although the photo doesn't indicate that it's reddish brown in color, it could be a large-eye toadfish. Your pictures seem to show your fish has a protruding lower jaw, a rounded tail, a flattened head, large eyes, and hints of some banding on the fins. Perhaps someone else can make a more difinitive ID, but at this point I suggest it's a large-eye toadfish - they are in that area.

I say, Toadfish also.

In the H/D ID CD-ROM there are 14 toadfish species. Most of them only have a sketch/drawing. And although this one was seen out of "usual or normal" habitat (up to 25' in sandy muddy bottom, according to H/D) I have to agree with Diver Dave. It looks to me most like the Large-eye.

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