Imagine a fish having a see-through body, and you can view the bones, head parts and other internal organs from the outer side of their body. Very hard to believe, but it is a fact that there are some types of fish that have transparent body. It is very interesting to study the characteristic features of these real, yet unusual fish types. Transparent fish species also make great specimens for scientific studies, particularly in tracking the progression of diseases and effects of medications.
Transparent Fish Types
Needless to say, organisms inhabiting the vast seas and oceans ar so diverse. And one example that proves the vast biodiversity is the presence of transparent fish. In most organisms that exhibit unusual features, there is always an adaptive scheme behind the characters. For example, the leafy sea dragon having leaf-like protrusions, which act as camouflage. In order to delve more on the characteristics of transparent fish, hera are some fish types that are either wholly or partly transparent:
The Barreleye Fish
The existence of barreleye fish, scientific name Macropinna microstoma, was known since 1939 to marine biologists. However, till 2004, scientists failed to gather information of live specimens. By this year, researchers of MBARI (Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute) recorded live barreleye in special cameras. In this species of deep-sea transparent fish, head portion is only transparent, while the body part is unintelligible just like any other regular fish.
Apart from the see-through head, the most characteristic feature of this fish is tubular eyes that are extremely sensitive to light. In fact, the name ‘barreleye’ is coined with reference to the barrel-like eyes, exhibited by this weird transparent head fish. The tubular eyes have the ability to rotate within a certain degree. The eyes and head ar covered by a delicate, fluid-filled, transparent shield. Other noteworthy features of barreleye fish admit small mouth and large fins.
The Glass Catfish
The glass catfish, scientific name Kryptopterus bicirrhis, inhabits the tropical freshwater habitats. Commercially, this small fish (adults measuring 15 cm in length) is very important in the aquarium trade. When kept in groups, they look strikingly beautiful. Unlike other fish species, the top fin of the glass catfish comprises only one ray. Most of the time, the top fin is kept hidden. Hence, you should have a keen eye for spotting this hidden fin.
The Indian Glassy Fish
Belonging to the freshwater fish types, the Indian glassy fish is scientifically delineated as Parambassis ranga. This fish species measures about 8 cm in length and is the most sought after aquarium fish. It is the human intention to try out certain ways for creating variety out of the original one. The same holds true with Indian glassy fish; majority of fish suppliers color this transparent fish with vivid shades, so that they appear more interesting to aquarists.
An artificially painted Indian glassy fish is commonly known as a disco fish or dyed glassfish. The procedure for creating dyed glassfish involves injecting dye to the fish, which after absorption by the tissues reveal a colored body. However, it is to be borne in mind that the body coloration is temporary and painted glassy fish are susceptible to shock, allergy and other diseases. In captivity and under optimal environmental conditions, the Indian glassy fish survive for about 3-4 years.
These ar a few transparent fish that are scientifically studied and described till date. Whether you clearly see their internal bones or see them engulfing food, watching transparent fish is intriguing. With the discovery of these amazing fish species, it won’t be surprising if some more see-through fish types ar identified in the near future.