Images: Fish Secretly Glow Vibrant Colors

Chain catshark

chain catshark

(Image credit: ©J. Sparks, D. Gruber, and V. Pieribone)

Researchers recently identified more than 180 fish species that glow brilliant colors through a natural process called biofluorescence. The colorful light is invisible to the human eye without the help of special filters. The following images were taken with cameras specially equipped with such filters to capture the brilliant diversity of light in the fish world. Above, a green biofluorescent chain catshark (Scyliorhinus retifer).

Fish diversity, 1

fish diversity

(Image credit: ©PLOS ONE)

C). sole (Soleichthys heterorhinos); D). flathead (Cociella hutchinsi); E). lizardfish (Saurida gracilis); K). sand stargazer (Gillellus uranidea); L). goby (Eviota sp.); M). Gobiidae (Eviota atriventris).

Fish diversity, 2

fish diversity

(Image credit: ©PLOS ONE)

F). frogfish (Antennarius maculatus); G). stonefish (Synanceia verrucosa); N). surgeonfish (Acanthurus coeruleus, larval); O). threadfin bream (Scolopsis bilineata).

Fish diversity, 3

fish diversity

(Image credit: ©PLOS ONE)

B). ray (Urobatis jamaicensis); C). sole (Soleichthys heterorhinos); H). false moray eel (Kaupichthys brachychirus); I). Chlopsidae (Kaupichthys nuchalis); J). pipefish (Corythoichthys haematopterus).

Sea horse

sea horse

(Image credit: American Museum of Natural History)

Sea horse.

Triplefin blennie

triplefin blennie

(Image credit: ©J. Sparks and D. Gruber)

A triplefin blennie (Enneapterygius sp.) under white light (above) and blue light (below).

Laura Poppick
Live Science Contributor
Laura Poppick is a contributing writer for Live Science, with a focus on earth and environmental news. Laura has a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Bachelor of Science degree in geology from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. Laura has a good eye for finding fossils in unlikely places, will pull over to examine sedimentary layers in highway roadcuts, and has gone swimming in the Arctic Ocean.