• Size

    11.8 inches (30 cm)
  • Diet

    Omnivorous
  • Range

    Eastern Pacific from northern California to Baja California, Mexico
  • Habitat

    Muddy bottoms inside shells, burrows, bottles and other objects below tide

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.

Animal Fact

The sarcastic fringehead uses its huge mouth to scare away intruders

Diet / Feeding

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

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).

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.

Sources

  • http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Neoclinus_blanchardi/
  • http://www.fishbase.org/summary/Neoclinus-blanchardi.html
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