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Toadfish (Batrachoididae) babies in Bocas del Toro, Panama

Bocas Research Station’s research assistant Arcadio Castillo ran into these curious looking fish babies while working close to the dock. After some investigation, we found that they are Toadfish, family Batrachoididae.
The eggs and juveniles of these fish are usually guarded by their father, who in this case must have hidden close by when sensing the disturbance. Toadfish have very cryptic coloring and are excellent at camouflaging themselves in rock crevices and substrate.