Yellowhead jawfish

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Yellowhead jawfish
Opistognathus aurifrons.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Family: Opistognathidae
Genus: Opistognathus
O. aurifrons
Binomial name
Opistognathus aurifrons
  • Gnathypops aurifrons D. S. Jordan & J. C. Thompson, 1905

The yellowhead jawfish (Opistognathus aurifrons) is a species of jawfish native to coral reefs in the Caribbean Sea. It is found at depths of from 3 to 40 metres (9.8 to 131.2 ft). The head and upper body are a light, but brilliant, yellow color slowly fading to a pearlescent blue hue. It can reach a length of 10 centimetres (3.9 in) TL.[2] Yellowhead jawfishes are usually found in Florida. They are usually found in shallow areas where materials are available for burrow construction. The Jawfishes live in rubble areas and sand in groups of up to 70 species.[3]

It remains near its relatively small territory, and is typically seen with only the head and upper section of its body protruding from its burrow, although it sometimes can be found hovering nearby. It is able to arrange material using its mouth, carrying sand, shells, or small rocks from one location to another.

It is a mouthbrooder, with the male carrying the eggs in its mouth until they hatch.

In captivity[edit]

In the aquarium it feeds on planktonic matter, commonly taking brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and prepared frozen and pelleted fish food. When other fish come near its territory, it will open its jaw wide and try to warn them off, but it rarely attacks.


  1. ^ Smith-Vaniz, W.F.; Williams, J.T.; Curtis, M.; et al. (2015). "Opistognathus aurifrons". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2015: e.T190079A16510687. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-2.RLTS.T190079A16510687.en.
  2. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2014). "Opistognathus aurifrons" in FishBase. February 2014 version.
  3. ^ Robinson, Mary (2017-08-21). "Marine Fishes of FloridaRR 2017/170 Marine Fishes of Florida David B. Snyder and George H. Burgess Johns Hopkins University Press Baltimore, MD 2016 ix + 373 pp. ISBN 978 1 4214 1872 8 (print); ISBN 978 1 4214 1873 5 (e-book) £26 $39.95". Reference Reviews. 31 (6): 30–31. doi:10.1108/rr-04-2017-0087. ISSN 0950-4125.

External links[edit]