Sunday 15 February 2015

Rhinopias Scorpionfish

Image: Tom Demeyer
Aahhhh... The joy of weird fish!

Rhinopias is a genus which contains about half a dozen gloriously odd-looking fish.

Image: prilfish
Paddleflap Scorpionfish (R. eschmeyeri)
GLORIOUSLY odd-looking!

They're all very compressed and deep-bodied in shape but more importantly...

Image: Tom Demeyer
Just look at that face!

Rhinopias fish have incredibly snooty facial expressions. With their high-up eyes and curving snouts, they look like they should be smoking cigarettes at the end of loooong cigarette holders. Or maybe they're one of those passive aggressive waiters who roll their eyes at your choice of wine or your request for ketchup.

Most Rhinopias Scorpionfish come from the Pacific Ocean, with a few moving out to the Indian Ocean. The most widespread species, the Weedy Scorpionfish (R. frondosa), reaches 23 cm (9 in) long and has a huge range that extends from east Africa all the way over to Japan and Papua New Guinea.

Cea's Scorpionfish (R. cea), on the other hand, is found only in the isolation of Easter Island.

Image: prilfish
Rhinopias is part of the Scorpionfish family and like most other Scorpionfish, they're right, old lazybones. They don't rush around chasing after prey, instead they just sit and wait for fish and crustaceans to come within easy reach.

They can swim if they really have to but prefer to use their fins to walk slowly across the seabed. If they need to get somewhere in a hurry they would still rather hop than swim. But what they really like is to just sit there, waving slightly from side to side so they look just like a pile of algae.

Video: liquidguru

It's so bad they don't even bathe! A fish that doesn't bathe? That doesn't make sense at all. Nevertheless, Rhinopias Scorpionfish get covered in so much algae and parasites that they regularly shed their skin! Some have been seen doing it every two weeks! This is serious devotion to indolence. Hardcore laziness.

Until something tasty swims by, of course. Then they jump in, mouth open, guts blazing and BOOM! One full belly and one less peon, It's the snooty's way.

Image: Steve Childs
They also yawn a lot
Their poor victim didn't even see it coming; Rhinopias Scorpionfish are experts at camouflage. Some of them settle in coral reefs and blend into the background but others just relax on plain sand and look just like a sponge or a clump of algae all by themselves.

A lot of these Scorpionfish are incredibly gaudy and have such complicated skin patterns as to be almost painful to the eye...

Image: Bernard DUPONT
Weedy Scorpionfish (R. frondosa)
From the spots of the Weedy Scorpionfish...

Image: Nick Hobgood
Lacy Scorpionfish (R. aphanes)
To the crazy, labyrinthine stripes of the Lacy Scorpionfish.

The effect isn't helped by the vast range of vibrant colours that each species comes in. Let alone the array of accoutrements they all bear...

Image: Ken Bondy
Crazy beards, barmy eyebrows, transparent patches in their fins... It's MADDENING!

Image: prilfish
Paddle Flap Scorpionfish can't believe it D:
It makes the Paddle Flap Scorpion quite the respite. Aside from a few lumps here and there they're smooth and generally satisfied with just one, uniform colour.

Image: Steve Childs
Sure they appear to have robbed some eyebrows and a moustache from one of those novelty disguise glasses but you know what these snooty types are like with their eccentricities.


Porakiya said...

talk about diverse bums! with all the colors, patterns, and possible glowy bits, I think it'd be hard to believe that they're all related XD

TexWisGirl said...

laughed at groucho. :) so cool, though!

Crunchy said...

I know when I want to look like kelp, hot pink is my go-to color.

That Lacy one there is wild!

Anonymous said...

OMG< I think they are all gorgeous

Joseph JG said...

@Porakiya Draekojin: Yeah, they're nuts! It takes some effort to try and see through it all and notice that they all share the same general shape underneath.

@TexWisGirl: I just couldn't get over those weird eyebrow flaps!

@Crunchy: Ha! I want to see THAT kelp forest!

@stregajewellry: Yes!