Spotted on a Boat Ride: a Leaf or a Fish?

A leaf floating in the water might not be anything unusual…but is it really a leaf? The Tripletail just might fool even the keenest eye.


These fish get their unique name from their three rounded fins. We occasionally spot them on a boat tour and especially in the waters around the Conch House Marina where we dock the boat. Tripletails often float on their sides, mimicking the appearance of a leaf in the water. They’re regularly found around debris, buoys and other objects. Looking like a leaf or debris is something scientists believe the Tripletail does on purpose as a method of camouflage as it waits for possible food to wander by.

Tripletails have the reputation of being delicious to eat but, unlike a leaf that you could just scoop up as you ride by, these guys also have the reputation of being somewhat difficult to catch!