A fish that goes bump in the night

It lurks in the darkness…hiding within the coral crevices. Known as the black widow, this mysterious creature slithers out of its watery home at night, searching for unsuspecting prey. Divers search the inky blackness to find this elusive animal, only to be disappointed and turned away by the black beauty…

 The brotula in its natural habitat
Credit: Fishbase. Uploaded by Cláudio L. S. Sampaio

Just in time for Halloween, the Aquarium has a special guest on exhibit in the fourth floor’s Yawkey Coral Reef Center. Known as a black widow, or the less frightening name of “black brotula”, the new Stygnobrotula latebricola is only a few inches long and is native to tropical waters from the Bahamas to Brazil.

This new resident is rare to see in aquariums and is the first of its kind here at Central Wharf. However, they are also hard to see in the wild. They are known as cryptic animals, using their shallow reefs and rocky ledge homes to hide during the day. This helps this slow moving creature to avoid predators.

Lots of good places to hide!

Though it does hide from time to time, our current resident can be seen out and about looking for food. They eat small crustaceans, even parasites on other animals, and you can sometimes see small prey items floating in the exhibit with the brotula.

Out and about, looking for a mid-day snack

There’s no telling how long this creature will haunt the halls of the Aquarium. Make sure to come visit this special guest…if you dare!

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