Size11.8 inches (30 cm)
RangeEastern Pacific from northern California to Baja California, Mexico
HabitatMuddy bottoms inside shells, burrows, bottles and other objects below tide
- 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.
The sarcastic fringehead uses its huge mouth to scare away intruders
- Omnivorous, consuming approximately 13.6 times its body weight per year.
- 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).
- 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.
- “Not Evaluated” on the IUCN Red List.
- 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.