Yellowhead Jawfish

This is the yellowhead jawfish.

Its head is yellow, like the color of yellow corn.

Its body is small, like the size of a new yellow crayon.

Jawfish have slender bodies that let them slink in and out of their burrows. (Image Credit: Unknown)

Jawfish have slender bodies that let them slink in and out of their burrows. (Image Credit: Unknown)

The yellowhead jawfish has a big mouth.

It has big jaws that can scoop up sand.

It scoops up sand, so it can dig a hole.

It digs a hole to make a home!

The yellowhead jawfish is a good daddy.

The mommy jawfish lets him protect her eggs.

But how does the daddy jawfish protect her eggs?

The daddy jawfish hides the eggs in his mouth!

Daddy jawfish protects the eggs until they are ready.

They stay in his mouth, until they are ready for hatching.

One day, baby jawfish will hatch from those eggs.

Then the daddy jawfish can eat food and dig holes again!

A yellowhead jawfish peeks out of its burrow in a home aquarium. (Image Credit: Robert Harman)

A yellowhead jawfish peeks out of its burrow in a home aquarium. (Image Credit: Robert Harman)

FOR PARENTS:

The yellowhead jawfish is a beautiful, dainty fish found in the coral reefs and shallows of the Caribbean and Florida. They are sometimes found in pet stores that sell saltwater tropical fish.

Yellowhead jawfish are a wonderful example of parental care in the fish world. As you can see in the videos above, male fish will guard their eggs using their mouth! Dedicated fathers, indeed.

Read more about the yellowhead jawfish in the original Better Know a Fish blogpost: http://betterknowfish.wordpress.com/2013/04/06/yellowhead-jawfish-opistognathus-aurifrons/

Opistognathus aurifrons (Jordan & Thompson, 1905)
Yellowhead Jawfish (click for names in other languages)

Opistognathus means “backward-pointing jaw”, and aurifrons means “golden-faced”.

— Ben Young Landis

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