Friday, December 23, 2011

Irish Lord Fish

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... Ten Lords a'leaping...
Hemilepidotus hemilepidotus

Finally, a fish makes it to our list! Though I must say, when I mentally picture a lord, it looks nothing like this odd ocean dweller.

The common name of this fish is a little confusing. Despite being called the Red Irish Lord, they are not native to anywhere even remotely close to Ireland; they are found in the Pacific Ocean! They also comes in many, many colors besides red, and can even change color to match their surroundings. How perplexing!

Red Irish Lords may look a bit familiar to you. They are members of the large Scopaeniformes superfamily, which also includes Rockfish. Like the Rockfish, Red Irish Lords are carnivores. They live close to shore on rocky reefs at depths of less than 1,500ft (450m) and hunt crustaceans, mussels, and barnacles by waiting patiently and them ambushing them.

Red Irish Lords are also pretty good dads! After mating, the females will lay her eggs and leave. The males however, sticks around and guards over them until they hatch.

IUCN Status : Not Listed
Location : Northern Pacific Ocean
Size : Length up to 20in (51cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Actinopterygii -- Order : Scorpaeniformes
Family : Cottidae -- Genus : Hemilepidotus -- Species : H. hemilepidotus

1 comment:

  1. I caught one of these fish not to long ago...very very unlordy looking, but majestic in their own beauty and awesome fathering skills. Here is to the Irish Lord Rockfish...and they are awesome :D


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