We were lucky enough to film this Red Handfish hanging out in Frederick Henry Bay (SE Tasmania) recently.

This individual was about 7cm long, and didn’t seem to mind some seaweed to the face (or being covered in sand!). Handfishes don’t have a swim bladder - which most fish have and use to help keep them afloat. This means that handfishes are found on the seafloor, and use their fins (“hands”) to walk. They are capable of swimming short distances, which is more of a ‘darting’ movement that occurs in bursts - which they often do when scared/spooked. But not this guy - he’s just happy sitting!

Footage credit: Rick Stuart-Smith, Reef Life Survey


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