The End of January? What really?? Okay so sarcasm does not become me but it’s oddly appropriate for this weeks issue, but first we must mention the sinister mechanisations of last weeks creature, the Wasp Mantidfly. As for this week’s creature it’s like totally awesome dudes. Or something like that, and now in my most sincere tones I say, “Enjoy the issue guys”
Issue #49 - Sarcastic Fringehead
Kingdom – Animalia
Phylum – Chordata
Class – Actinopterygii
Order – Perciforms
Family – Chaenopsidae
Genus – Neoclinus
Species – blanchardi
Related Species - The Sarcastic Fringehead is one of the Tube Blennies found in costal waters around the world (1)
Range - The Sarcastic Fringehead is found solely in the coastal waters of California and Northern Mexico
Like a Totally Awesome Fish
The Sarcastic Fringehead is a foot long bottom dwelling fish with an elongated body with reduced pelvic fins and a large pectoral fin. Despite the large eyes it possesses the Sarcastic Fringehead is short sighted so it often hides in holes, abandoned shells and even man made items abandoned on the seabed. The Sarcastic Fringehead also has a fringe or cirrus (2) over the eyes, and is the reason for the first part of its name.
An ambush predator, the Sarcastic Fringehead presumably predates on smaller fish and crustaceans like its relatives, using needle like teeth to pin even the most slippery of prey. When the Fringehead is threatened it fully opens its mouth, to reveal a set of flaps that open up to make it look bigger. Coupled with the species aggressive nature and poor eyesight it will readily defend itself against much larger opponents.
The real reason for these flaps is inter species wrestling, with individuals opening up their mouth and pushing against each other until one individual wins, and then chases the loser away (3). Such bouts are usually preceded with head bobbing, jaw snapping and gill flexing in an attempt to scare off their rivals. Such fights are generally over burrows that are used to lay their eggs in.
Five Sarcastic Fringehead Facts
The term Sarcastic comes from the Greek word Sarkasmos which translates to ‘the Tearing of the Flesh’.
The Sarcastic Fringehead is fearless; it will willingly attack and pursue people and larger fish that disturb it.
When retreating into its burrow the Sarcastic Fringehead always enters backwards
Despite being a relatively small fish the Sarcastic Fringhead faces no know predation due to its pugnacious attitude
Not all Tube Blennies are large fish, Dwarf spinyhead blenny (Acanthemblemaria paula) only measures 1.8cm as an adult and is one of the smallest vertebrates in the world (4)
1 - www.arkive.org
2 - R. L. Kotpal (2012). Modern Text Book of Zoology: Invertebrates. Rastogi. pp. 341–343
3 - http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/onlinelearningcenter/species/sarcastic_fringehead
4 - Johnson, G. D. and E. B. Brothers 1989 (19 Dec.) [ref. 13532] Acanthemblemaria paula, a new diminutive chaenopsid (Pisces: Blennioidei) from Belize, with comments on life history. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington v. 102 (no. 4): 1018-1030
1 - http://www.factzoo.com/sites/all/img/fish/fringehead/looking-normal-neoclinus.jpg
2 - http://www.factzoo.com/sites/all/img/fish/fringehead/fringehead-sarcastic-mouth-open.jpg
3 - http://cdn1.arkive.org/media/3C/3CD3239C-40AF-4033-8D18-BF56FDF47268/Presentation.Large/sarcastic-fringehead-males-engaged-in-territory-dispute.jpg
And with a flurry of fins and some underwater cursing this issue is chased off by the angry Sarcastic Fringehead we just happened to be bothering. Next week we have a request from @ostyo followed by @johnjo719 and an archived request for @laflux . Until then critic, comment and check out past issues using Impurest’s Bestiary