The Red-Lipped Batfish: A Fish That Walks

A unique animal glides around the ocean floor deep under the enigmatic waters of the Galápagos Islands, capturing the attention of scientists and marine enthusiasts alike. The Red-Lipped Batfish is a strange fish with stunning red lips and unusual walking gaits. In this blog, we’ll explore this fascinating underwater resident’s world and learn what makes it unique.

Red-Lipped Batfish Facts Overview

Habitat: Deepwater oceans
Location: Galapagos Islands, Peru
Lifespan: 12 Years
Size: Up to 40cm
Weight: Less than 1kg
Color: Light brown or grey with a red mouth and white stomach
Diet: Small fish, shrimp, worms, crabs, and mollusks
Predators: None
Top Speed: 10mph
No. of Species: 1
Conservation Status: Unknown

Where is the Red-Lipped Batfish Found?

To see the red-lipped batfish for yourself, you must go to the Pacific Ocean’s Galapagos Islands. It is one of many species that are endemic to the Galapagos, which means they can only be found there. Other endemic species include the Galapagos penguin, giant tortoise, and marine iguana. In reality, the name Ogcocephalus darwini is a tribute to Charles Darwin, a renowned scientist who developed his theory of evolution as a result of his research in the Galapagos.

Although they can be found in deeper areas up to 400 feet deep, red-lipped batfish are normally found at depths of around 30 to 60 feet. They prefer to linger out in areas with rocky or sandy bottoms because they fit in better.


The red-lipped batfish can’t be found riding the waves. To meet one directly, you’ll have to don your scuba diving equipment. The Akalip batfish can be found in the Pacific Ocean off Peru and in depths of 3 to 76 m (10 to 249 feet) in the Galapagos Islands. Despite the fact that few Akalip batfish specimens have been discovered in fishing nets in California, sightings of any batfish are extremely rare and possibly pertain to a different species. really high. Due to their benthic nature, they are typically found on sand and seafloors. Even though they occasionally surface above deep water, these organisms are regarded as shallow-water forms. They frequently hang around at the periphery of reefs that are up to 120 meters deep.

Life Cycle

The Red-lipped Batfish reproduces sexually by laying pelagic larvae in the form of eggs. It is reported that they can live for up to twelve years. The red-lipped batfish are fierce carnivores that prey mostly on small fish, mollusks, and crustaceans like shrimp and crab, just like many other deep-sea fish. Their adult-developed modified dorsal fine, known as the illegal, is employed to entice prey. It is protected by its protruding nose.

Why the Bright Red Lips?

Some scientists believe that the bright red lips help to identify the species during spawning, while others believe that males may use them to lure the females. In actuality, they are simply theories, and no one is actually sure yet! 

What Does it Eat?

It is a ferocious carnivore that prefers to consume shrimp, crab, mollusks, and small fish.

Red-Lipped Batfish Are Harmless to Humans

Many of the organisms you’ll come across if you dive deep enough in the water will be dangerous to people. The ocean is replete with deadly animals, including sharks, electric eels, and venomous sea snakes.

But the red-lipped batfish is entirely safe for people. Although they are a little strange and have an unexpected appearance, as long as you are not a little fish or invertebrate, you don’t have to worry about ending up on their menu.

The red-lipped batfish is also devoid of any toxin or venom. They never had to acclimate to any of these protective strategies because they live in such deep seas with no natural predators.

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