Phallostethus cuulong Facts
- Firstly, the astonishing creature known by the scientific name of the Phallostethus cuulong represents a truly unusual kind of species. Quite unfortunately, the truly remarkable animal also remains extremely rarely seen.
- As a result, among other things, few photos of the bizarre animal exist. The first official discovery of this incredible freshwater fish occurred in 2009. Presently, it remains unknown if local inhabitants knew of its existence prior to that date.
- Regardless of when its first discovery occurred, one remarkable fact remains of paramount importance. To be more precise, this unique fish qualifies as one of only twenty-two known species of what science calls priapium fish.
- This distinctive creature, along with the other members of its astonishing Family, differ from other fish in one highly remarkable manner. Unlike other fish, these species reproduce internally. All other known varieties of fish reproduce externally.
- Very regrettably, virtually no information exists pertaining to the population numbers of the Phallostethus cuulong. As a result, the IUCN presently has no listing for it, on its Red List of Threatened Species. That’s due to a lack of information.
- However, given the nature of its habitat, it may be assumed to be facing a number of potential dangers to its continued existence as a species. Chief among these must be considered to be the likelihood that climate change now poses a threat to it.
Phallostethus cuulong Physical Description
First of all, the incredibly amazing Phallostethus cuulong proves that size has no bearing on impressiveness. That’s because this particular species does not impress due to size. In actuality, it remains a physically quite diminutive variety of fish.
That occurs since all officially examined specimens of the apparently quite rare animal average only 1 in (2.5 cm) in total length. Furthermore, and rather surprisingly, the tiny body also possesses a most unusual physical appearance.
That’s due to the fact that that it develops as almost completely translucent in appearance. This, however, creates an ongoing, and frustrating, puzzle for scientist to solve. Given its habitat, the evolutionary reason for this continues to elude researchers.
The most notable physical characteristic of the Phallostethus cuulong only partly involves its appearance. It also pertains to matters of reproduction. That holds true due to the utterly bizarre location of the male genitalia. For some unknown reason, Nature placed these under its chin.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Actinopterygii
- Order: Atheriniformes
- Family: Phallostethidae
- Genus: Phallostethus
- Species: P. cuulong
Phallostethus cuulong Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Most notably, the bizarrely evolved Phallostethus cuulong appears to have one factor working against it. The fascinating animal only inhabit an extremely restricted range. That’s because its only known population appears in an extremely localized section of Asia.
More precisely, this astounding marvel of Nature appears to only live in the Mekong Delta, in Vietnam. Furthermore, its restrictions do not end there. The discovery of this fish occurred specifically in one small section of the already limited habitat range.
That tiny area comprises the tidal canals of the delta. Yet, the degree of restriction does not end there. There, the unusual creature also inhabits only the very shallow regions. Even further, individuals live at depths ranging from 1.6 – 11.5 ft (0.5 – 3.5 m).
However, this one fact, at least, comes as no surprise to researchers. That’s because all known species of priapium fish inhabit regions of Southeast Asia. Lamentably, though, the fish continues to pose many other puzzle for the researchers to solve.
That’s partly true pertaining to the fact that when and how this evolutionary relocation occurred remains a mystery. However, the origin of the location of its reproductive organs isn’t the only unique part of the nature for this species.
Among other externally reproducing fish species, copulation occurs almost instantaneously. But, in the case of the Phallostethus cuulong, the process takes longer. The penis includes a rod with a barbed hook. It just grabs onto the female during mating and does not let go.