Wednesday 15 April 2015

Monkeyface Prickleback

Cebidichthys violaceus
Monkeyface Prickleback.



This thing is a walking insult!

Image: Jonathan Lavan
Or a swimming insult? Actually, Monkeyface Pricklebacks are predominantly stationary insults. They really don't get out much and with a face that looks like it was composed by a three-year-old with a tub of putty, you can see why.

They spend their time hidden away in rocky crevices on the coast of California and Oregon. They'll go out to forage for food, but they always stay within about 4.6 m (15 ft) of home - one needs to keep that face within easy reach of darkness. Young, growing Monkeyface Pricklebacks are partial to crustaceans, adults prefer to munch on algae.

Image: Donna Pomeroy
Monkeyface Pricklebacks are able to breath air and if everything remains sufficiently moist, they can survive out of water for a good day and a half!

The rest of their body is slim and eel-like, reaching some 75 cm (2.5 ft) long. Behind their monkey face... is a prickleback. They actually belong to an entire family of fish known as Pricklebacks. The name refers to the spiny rays on their dorsal fin... rather than back-stubble or whatever.

You gotta love those insultingly-named species!


TexWisGirl said...

how can you not love something with that name? :)

Crunchy said...

Hey... Words hurt! :(

Lear's Fool said...

That guy fits perfectly in Eddie Izzard's 'Engelbert Humperdink' bit!

Also: Well named!

Joseph JG said...

@TexWisGirl: I can't imagine!

@Crunchy: Yeah... funny words, though!

@Lear's Fool: Hahaha! So true!