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 September Fish of the Month (Blob sculpin)

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KMX
Admin
Admin
KMX

Posts : 16094
Location : Mansfield, TX
Favorite Fish: : African Cichlids of all kinds.

September Fish of the Month (Blob sculpin) Empty
PostSubject: September Fish of the Month (Blob sculpin)   September Fish of the Month (Blob sculpin) Icon_minitime9/2/2011, 2:14 pm

Blob sculpin





September Fish of the Month (Blob sculpin) Fish_o10

Copyright © NOAA, Creative Commons

This week's choice for water-dwelling weirdo status is the Blob sculpin, a visually unfortunate deep sea denizen whose depressed looking face will be familiar to many of us from photos that don't necessarily give the most truthful portrait of the species.

Almost every photograph you'll see of the Blob sculpin (Psychrolutes phrictus) shows a pink, amorphous 'face' staring lugubriously at the camera with its down-turned mouth and drooping 'nose' giving an impression of permanent despondency, just like the one above.

This is hardly surprising given the circumstances behind these portraits.

The Blob sculpin typically lives deep in the waters of the North Pacific, and when I say deep I mean at the kind of depths that would crush you and I flat. There's a more than a few litres of water pushing down on you when your chosen home can be almost 3000m down in the midnight dark of the bathypelagic zone, so it's no surprise that Blob sculpins look no more at their best on the deck of a trawler than you or I would resting somewhere on the sea bed off the continental shelf.

All this being said, they're still not the most aesthetically pleasing fish when alive but when you live in permanent darkness who cares what you look like?




When living they are an overall greyish colour and their huge head and much of their body is covered in tiny spine-like cirri, giving them a prickly appearance. Blob sculpin bodies are small and tadpole-like in comparison to their massive, rubbery lipped head which is fringed by large pectoral fins.

Their flabby, deflated countenance when dredged up from the ocean's depths is down to extremely low muscle tone which is typical to many deep sea species. They are largely sedentary, content to spend much of their time waiting for food to come to them, or sedately swimming in search of typical foods such as crabs, molluscs and sea-pens. Check out the video below:


Little is known about their lives, but R.O.V.s and other submersibles have observed males apparently guarding large batches of eggs on specially prepared patches of sea floor where they have cleared away sand and sediment that might otherwise smother the eggs.

The name Psychrolutes is derived from the Greek term for 'to have a cold bath', probably alluding to their chilly deep sea homes. There are 10 other known Psychrolutes species as well as a further 30 in the Psychrolutidae family, which is more commonly known as the 'Fatheads' to add a further unflattering layer to the Blob sculpin name. It's no wonder they look so grumpy with all this name calling!

Psychrolutes phrictus is the largest known member of the family, growing to around 70cm/27" and weighing about 9.5kg/21lbs.

None of the blobfish are targeted by commercial fishing, but unfortunately they often end up being dragged up as by-catch from deep sea crustacean fisheries as they are unable to avoid the trawls due to their sluggish nature. One species, the Oceanic blobfish (Psychrolutes marcidus) is believed to be heading towards extinction as a result.

Published: Bob Mehen


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September Fish of the Month (Blob sculpin) CMSIG
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whisper
Betta Specialist
Betta Specialist
whisper

Posts : 1990
Location : Euless, Texas
Favorite Fish: : Betta's,Fancy Guppies, Plecos, kio.

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PostSubject: Re: September Fish of the Month (Blob sculpin)   September Fish of the Month (Blob sculpin) Icon_minitime9/2/2011, 4:11 pm

Yips! It look like a Pleco gone wrong. LOL
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strikingthematch
Captain
Captain
strikingthematch

Posts : 1118
Location : Virginia Beach, VA
Favorite Fish: : Discus, Stingrays, Arowana, Rams, and Angels

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PostSubject: Re: September Fish of the Month (Blob sculpin)   September Fish of the Month (Blob sculpin) Icon_minitime9/2/2011, 4:20 pm

Pretty crazy fish. Every time I see one of these deep sea creatures it amazes me how well adapted they are to a given environment.
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KMX
Admin
Admin
KMX

Posts : 16094
Location : Mansfield, TX
Favorite Fish: : African Cichlids of all kinds.

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PostSubject: Re: September Fish of the Month (Blob sculpin)   September Fish of the Month (Blob sculpin) Icon_minitime9/3/2011, 7:31 am

whisper wrote:
Yips! It look like a Pleco gone wrong. LOL

I agree LOL

**********USAfishbox.com*************


Expand the hobby!

Don't blame me, I voted RON PAUL !!


September Fish of the Month (Blob sculpin) CMSIG
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Dr. Who
First Lieutenant
First Lieutenant


Posts : 635
Location : Cancun Mexico

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PostSubject: Re: September Fish of the Month (Blob sculpin)   September Fish of the Month (Blob sculpin) Icon_minitime9/3/2011, 10:04 pm

Thanks for the fine info.
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dnphillips08
Staff Sergeant
Staff Sergeant
dnphillips08

Posts : 172
Location : Chesapeake, VA
Favorite Fish: : Discus

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PostSubject: Re: September Fish of the Month (Blob sculpin)   September Fish of the Month (Blob sculpin) Icon_minitime9/8/2011, 4:13 pm

It'd be cool if one of the large professional aquariums could find a way to pressurize the water to the point where these deep sea fish could be viewed and enjoyed by the masses. Eh probably a far off idea, but would be awesome.
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Meredith
Chief Wrnt. Off. 4
Chief Wrnt. Off. 4
Meredith

Posts : 472
Location : Kingston, Missouri
Favorite Fish: : As far as fresh water goes, it's Bettas!
For marine fish; Firefish, Cardinalfish, Gobies, Dragonets, and Sharks...

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PostSubject: Re: September Fish of the Month (Blob sculpin)   September Fish of the Month (Blob sculpin) Icon_minitime9/8/2011, 4:46 pm

I think he's kinda cute. :) My grandma used to have a wall hanging sculpture of a fish that looked like this guy!
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D'Claro
Sergeant Major
Sergeant Major
D'Claro

Posts : 278
Location : Virginia

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PostSubject: Re: September Fish of the Month (Blob sculpin)   September Fish of the Month (Blob sculpin) Icon_minitime9/8/2011, 5:51 pm

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder! The author of that article takes it for granted we will all agree that the sculpin looks unappealing but I say it's a good-looking fish. Reminds me of Auchenipterid catfish, which are some of my favorites.
Thanks for posting the info, KMX!

"Long live the fatheads!"
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BenChod
Corporal/Specialist
Corporal/Specialist


Posts : 93
Location : Desoto, Texas

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PostSubject: Re: September Fish of the Month (Blob sculpin)   September Fish of the Month (Blob sculpin) Icon_minitime9/8/2011, 9:21 pm

great info...thanks
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PostSubject: Re: September Fish of the Month (Blob sculpin)   September Fish of the Month (Blob sculpin) Icon_minitime

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