Lizardfish are part of the Synodontidae family and are commonly called 'Grinners' due to their large smiling mouths. There are around 65 species and most are found around shallow rocks and reefs or on sandy bottoms in tropical waters. It is these shallow water species that most divers and snorkelers see here on the dive sites off Koh Lanta.
With their slender bodies and tooth filled large mouths, these bottom dwellers are named due to their distinctive 'Lizard' like appearance. Some species like to bury themselves in sand, leaving only their head and eyes showing. Some like to perch on the tops of corals and rocks, propped up on their long pelvic fins.
Lizardfish have intricately patterned colours ranging from greys, browns, reds to blues, turquoise and greens. Many have a chameleon-like ability to change their colours, hiding them from larger predators such as Groupers, Octopus and Sharks.
Their mouths contain many rows of small needle-like teeth, there are even teeth on their tongue. They like to dine on, small fish, young cephalopods and invertebrates. Lizardfish will ambush the prey and attack with their mouths open, hooking it with all those formidable looking teeth.