The Sarcastic Fringehead is one of the most extraordinary species in any ocean. Though not large, they are famous for their extremely aggressive behavior. This behavior, along with the distinctive appendages over their eyes, forms the source of the unusual name.
They are ambush predators, generally lying in their shelters. At this time, only their heads remain visible. They will attack virtually anything that approaches their vicinity, regardless of its size.
When under threat, their incredibly large jaws gape wide, in an attempt to intimidate their opponent. Very little is known of their preferred prey. Perhaps they prey primarily upon small crustaceans who blunder too close to their shelter.
Sarcastic Fringehead Physical Description
The Sarcastic Fringehead sometimes attains a length of as much as 12 in (30.5 cm). An average adult size is around 8 in (20 cm). The body is generally slender and elongated. The heads are quite large in comparison with the body. The lips are prominent, and the eyes are bulging.
The enormous jaw actually extends back past the eyes and is generally larger in males of the species.
The Sarcastic Fringehead also possesses numerous cirri over the eyes. Their eyesight is extremely poor, perhaps contributing to their aggressiveness. The coloring is typically brown or gray, with blotches of pale green.
Sarcastic Fringehead Habitat
The Sarcastic Fringehead occupies an unusually specific habitat. They live almost exclusively along open areas of coastline and only in a coastal zone stretching from Baja to San Fransisco, California, in the United States, in North America.
They inhabit regions of either hard mud bottoms or loose sand. These regions must be between 10-240 ft (3-73 m) in depth, as well as outside the breaker zone.
They are opportunistic in their choice of shelters. Unfortunately, this will even include human trash items, such as cans and bottles. Once a shelter is claimed, the individual Sarcastic Fringehead will grow to fill the shelter, up to their maximum growth size.