Monday, August 2, 2010
August 2, 2010 : Sarcastic Fringehead
The sarcastic fringehead (Neoclinus blanchardi) is a ferocious fish which has a large mouth and aggressive territorial behaviour. When two fringeheads have a territorial battle, they wrestle by pressing their distended mouths against each other, as if they were kissing. This allows them to determine which is the larger fish and so dominance is established.
They can be up to 30 cm wide and are mostly scaleless with great pectoral fins and reduced pelvic fins. With highly compressed bodies, some may be so widened as to appear eel-like. They tend to hide inside shells or crevices. After the female spawns under a rock or in clam burrows the male guards the eggs.
They are found in the Pacific, off the coast of North America, from San Francisco, California, to central Baja California and their depth range is from 3 to 73 m.