I was recently out diving at Twins, the weather was great with clear skies and rays of sun shining down on the dive boat. The visibility was brilliant, around 25 m. We went down and about 20 minutes into the dive, after the group had just finished performing a set of skills whilst kneeling in the sand, I just happened to notice something in the sand near to our position. On closer inspection it appeared to be an Indian Walkman. It is quite uncommon to spot these so naturally I was very pleased and the whole group had a good look at it. Assiting me on the dive was another instructor and upon surfacing a debate began. He thought what we had seen was a Flying Gunard. This debate went on for some time however after some research and chatting to other divers we established it was infact an Indian Walkman. On appearence they do have many similarities, they both inhabit the sand and boast interesting pectoral fins. The distribution of these prehistoric looking fish is what can really help determine which is which. Flying Gunards are mostly spotted around Florida Bahammas, Carribean, The Gulf of Mexico, north to Massachusetts, Bermuda, south to Argentina and eastern Atlantic. The Indian Walkman typically have smaller pectoral fins and a tendancy to stay in their position if spooked, where they will flair out their fins to warn off any threats and use their venomus spines for proctection. If they do move on, they only crawl along the sand. Flying Gunards will also flair out their fins, which are common to have a vibrant blue colour featured on them. Differently these fish will swim off if disturbed. They can be mistaken as the Gunard will forage in the sand in the same way the Indian walkman will, it will have its fins folded away and crawl around using vertical pelvic fins looking for crustaceans. The Indian walkman crawls using the four lower rays (two on each side) of its pectoral fins as legs. So remember keep a look out when diving around Twins, you may just get to see this interesting fish.
For more on “meeting with inimicus filamentosus”, check out http://www.balzarova.cz/en/articles.php?i=19