In 1939, our grandmother’s brother found one of the fascinating species of Bat Fish in the US Virgin Islands!
It turned out to be a long-nosed, Bat Fish about five inches in length.
It was a strange sight to all who gazed upon it!
One resembling it had been found in Puerto Rico and was called Diablo or Devil because of its bizarre appearance.
The Origins of the Bat Fish
Mr. Edward J. Brundage, who was on the island studying the flora and fauna said that the fish was only known to inhabit the Florida Cays and some parts of the West Indies.
It was not known to be in the Virgin Islands.
Its Latin name is Ogcocephalus Vespertilio.
It was first discovered by Carl von Linnaeus, the inventor of the present day system used for the naming of all plants and animals.
Types of Bat Fish
These types of Bat Fish reach twelve inches in length when fully developed.
There are two other species; Reticulated Bat Fish and Deep Sea Bat Fish, but those have never been caught in St. Thomas.
Mr. Brundage explained that the strange denizen of Neptune’s garden was one of the higher types of fish, modified from the original, to live at the bottom of the sea.
Its shape was cat-like with a short protuberant extending over its mouth.
On its ventral surface, there were two unique leg-like structures on which it walked on the sea bottom.
It has a distinct bat-like shape.
Nothing is known about its breeding habits or its life history.
Our great uncle was the owner of this rare specimen.
Unfortunately, no one in the family knows what became of it.
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