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Commonly Asked Questions

Appears in Georgia Aquarium's:
  • Deli Case (Cold Water Quest)

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs in Eastern Pacific from northern California to Baja California, Mexico.
  • Found in muddy bottoms inside shells, burrows, bottles and other objects below tide at depths of 10 to 240 feet (3-73 m).

Physical Characteristics

  • Coloration is brown and gray, patched with red or green. Ocelli between its spines are blue, outlined by yellow rings.
  • Known for its large mouth, this fringehead has a long dorsal fin with cirri fringing its head.
  • Can grow to length up to 11.8 inches (30 cm), making it the largest of all fringehead species.

Diet / Feeding

  • Omnivorous, consuming approximately 13.6 times its body weight per year.

Reproduction / Growth

  • Spawning months are January through August.
  • Egg-laying, or oviparous, female places eggs in empty burrows.
  • Male protects the eggs, which adhere to each other and surfaces and range from 0.9-1.5 mm in diameter – as large as 1/20th of an inch.

Conservation Status

  • “Not Evaluated” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • Sarcastic fringehead exhibits temperamental behavior.
  • Territorial: will guard shelter from any perceived threat with no regard to size differential.
  • When an intruder approaches, the fringehead emits a warning and snaps its jaw. If the intruder persists, the fringehead will counter with sharp, needle-like teeth.