Aug 12, 2008

Sarcastic Fringehead

Wendy is a fan of odd names. So, when she discovered the sarcastic fringehead, she had to pass it along to us.

Neoclinus blanchardi is an ambush predator, described as both pugnacious and aggressive (pugnacious isn't used nearly enough in the English language). I've searched around, but I can't find why it's called the sarcastic fringhead, especially when it's nearest relatives are called blennies. Maybe it makes some snyde comment just before or after catching its fish? Can someone find out for me?

Thanks Wendy.

Photo source: Peter McGuinness via Divebums.com

10 comments:

R Mutt said...

Sarcastic literally means "the tearing off of flesh" which might explain it.

Wendy said...

YOWCH! I didn't think to check the literal definition of "sarcastic." But I think you nailed the reason behind the name.

niner said...

Wow,that's neat. I'll throw around the word sarcastic more freely from now on. The fish has a cute face and pretty scales.

Kit said...

Definately an interesting fish! I have a tank full of interesting fish, and if I didn't already have a Black Ghost Knife, I'd love to get some sort of an ambush fish. The name is a plus too.

Jack Ruttan said...

I thought it had offended someone with its attitude, and they were getting even.

But the "sarcastic" definition is pretty cool (I checked it in my big dictionary).

A few people I'd call that.

Jade said...

I love watching blennies movie around. They hop along the bottom instead of swimming. Too neat :)

GodivaEyes said...

I have always liked watching blennies swim, too. It’s almost like they don’t know that they can swim or they’ve forgotten that they can – they hop around on the bottom in short little leaps and when they swim up the side of rocks, they grip them with their front fins like they’re afraid to fall off! I think they’re the cutest things, and if I could maintain a saltwater tank, I’d fill it full of these little guys.

Denita TwoDragons said...

Actually, he's not sarcastic--he just has a really dry sense of
humor... ;-)

--TwoDragons

Anonymous said...

Milton Love, in his wonderful book "Probably More Than You Want to Know About the Fishes of the Pacific Coast", says that if the sarcastic fringehead was 3 feet long, nobody would go in the water. My favorite fish since 1988!

Jack Ruttan said...

Oh sure it is. You're just saying that.