Sarcastic fringehead

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Sarcastic fringehead
Sarcastic Fringehead
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Chaenopsidae
Genus: Neoclinus
Species: N. blanchardi
Binomial name
Neoclinus blanchardi
Girard, 1858

The sarcastic fringehead (Neoclinus blanchardi) is a small but very hardy fish that has a large mouth and aggressive territorial behavior, for which it has been given its common name.[1] 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, which establishes dominance.[2]

They can be up to 30 centimetres (12 in) long,[3] elongate and slender,[1] and are mostly scaleless with great pectoral fins and reduced pelvic fins. 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. Their depth range is from 3 to 73 metres (10 to 240 ft).[3]

Sarcastic fringehead in plastic tube.JPG


  1. ^ a b "Sarcastic Fringehead: Neoclinus blanchardi". Aquarium of the Pacific. 
  2. ^ Denny, Mark; Steven Gaines (2002). Chance in Biology. Princeton: Princeton University Press. p. 13. ISBN 0691094942. 
  3. ^ a b Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2013). "Neoclinus blanchardi" in FishBase. February 2013 version.

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