Family : Jawfishes ; Found in large colonies. Feeds on benthic and planktonic invertebrates . Covers its burrow entrance at dusk and rebuilds the opening each morning.
Click on the language to view common names.
Common Names in Danish:
Bl, Blåplettet kæbefisk
Common Names in English:
Blue-spotted jawfish, bluespotted jawfish
Common Names in Mandarin Chinese:
Common Names in Spanish:
bocÃ³n manchas azules, Bocón azul, bocón manchas azules
Species Opistognathus rosenblatti
Bluespotted jawfish have squared heads
, eel-like bodies, big mouths
and long, continuous dorsal fins. Their eyes are overly large for
their body size. Their heads are yellowish-brown, blending to a darker
almost black body covered with blue spots. Their dorsal fins are
are yellow and do not have spots.
These fish reach a maximum length of just 10 cm (4 in).
The powerful jaws of the bluespotted jawfish have been adapted for use as a tool to scoop up sand , coral rubble , broken shells and pebbles to build their burrows. They are not above stealing supplies from a neighbor’s burrow to avoid work.
Bluespotted jawfish are usually found on the ocean bottom at depths of 18-24 m (60-80 ft ), near cliff bases or rocky outcroppings of offshore islands. Juveniles can be found in waters sometimes as shallow as 4.6 m (15 ft).
Biome: Marine .
- 9 Marine Neritic
- 9.3 Marine Neritic - Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel
- 9.4 Marine Neritic - Subtidal Sandy [more info]
At new or full moons during the spring
the front halves of the almost black body of males changes to white.
They perform a special mating display in which they dart up into
the water column
, hang motionless with all fins
for a few seconds,
then dart back into their burrows, repeating the display every few
minutes. These displays can go on for hours. An interested female
eventually leaves her burrow and follows the male back to his burrow
or to a separate breeding burrow to lay
, which the male
Jawfish are mouth-brooders. Males generally have larger mouths than females adapted for this purpose. The male gathers the fertilized eggs, which are held together with mucous threads, into his mouth and carries them until they hatch . The only time the incubating eggs are spit out is when the male has to eat and then he carefully places them inside the burrow away from predators . When the eggs hatch and the fry are released, and his mouth is once more empty, the male is free to repeat his mating display.
Bluespotted jawfish are normally found living in large colonies of several hundred individuals. Both males and females dig burrows, which are spaced 1-3 m (3.3-10 ft ) apart and can be as much as 30 cm (1 ft) deep. Every night these fish build covers for their burrows, and every morning they rebuild the openings again. They clean and repair their burrows, shoveling sand out almost constantly. They line the burrow tunnel with pebbles and shell fragments. These are also used to reinforce the roof to keep it from caving in. They stay in or very close to their burrows, defending their territories from intruders and their burrows from other thieving jawfish.
- Order: Perciformes ()
- Phylum: Chordata () - Chordates
Status: Accepted Name
Last scrutiny: Data last modified by FishBase 19-Jan-1999
Members of the genus Opistognathus
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 41 species and subspecies in this genus:
O. alleni (Abrolhos Jawfish) · O. aurifrons (Yellowhead Jawfish) · O. brasiliensis (Darkfin Jawfish) · O. castelnaui (Blue-Spotted Jawfish) · O. robinsi (Bartail Jawfish) · O. cuvierii (Phantom Jawfish) · O. darwiniensis (Darwin Jawfish) · O. dendriticus (Tabangka) · O. elizabethensis (Elizabeth Reef Jawfish) · O. eximius (Harlequin Smiler) · O. galapagensis (Galapagos Jawfish) · O. gilberti (Yellow Jawfish) · O. inornatus (Black Jawfish) · O. jacksoniensis (Southern Smiler) · O. latitabundus (Blotched Jawfish) · O. leprocarus (Roughcheek Jawfish) · O. lonchurus (Moustache Jawfish) · O. macrognathus (Spotfin Jawfish) · O. macrolepis (Bigscale Jawfish) · O. margaretae (Halfscaled Jawfish) · O. maxillosus (Mottled Jawfish) · O. megalepis (Largesacle Jawfish) · O. melachasme (Yellowmouth Grouper) · O. mexicanus (Mexican Jawfish) · O. muscatensis (Jawfish) · O. nigromarginatus (Moustached Jawfish) · O. nothus (Yellowmouth Jawfish) · O. panamaensis (Panamanian Jawfish) · O. papuensis (Papuan Jawfish) · O. punctatus (Finespotted Flounder) · O. reticeps (Reticulated Jawfish) · O. reticulatus (Leopard Jawfish) · O. rhomaleus (Giant Jawfish) · O. robinsi (Spotfin Jawfish) · O. rosenblatti (Blue-Spotted Jawfish) · O. scops (Bullseye Jawfish) · O. seminudus (Halfnaked Jawfish) · O. solorensis (Variegated Jawfish) · O. stigmosus (Coral Sea Jawfish) · O. verecundus (Bashful Jawfish) · O. whitehursti (Dusky Jawfish)
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- Allen, G.R. and D.R. Robertson (1994). Fishes of the tropical eastern Pacific. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu. 332 p.
- Allen, G.R. and Robertson, D.R. 1991. Quatre espèces nouvelles d' Opisthognathidae (jawfishes) du Pacifique oriental tropical. Revue Français d'Aquariologie 18(8): 47-52.
- IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.4). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 27 October 2010).
- Robertson, D.R. and Allen, G.R. 2008. Shorefishes of the tropical eastern Pacific: online information system. Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Balboa, Panama.
- UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre/ IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas. 2006. World Database on Protected Areas. Available at: http://www.unep-wcmc.org/wdpa/index.htm.
- American Fisheries Society. Common and Scientific Names of Fishes from the United states, Canada, and Mexico Sixth Edition. Special Publication 29.
- Aquarium of the Pacific
- Brands, S.J. (comp.) 1989-present. The Taxonomicon. Universal Taxonomic Services, Zwaag, The Netherlands. Accessed January 15, 2012.
- FishBase. Release date: January 5, 2010
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility. Accessed March 05, 2008. http://www.gbif.org Mediated distribution data from provider.
- IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. . Downloaded on January 28, 2012.
- Kullander, Sven O. (from FishBase).
- McCosker, J.E., Acero, A. & Espinosa, H. 2010. Opistognathus rosenblatti. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloadedon 03February2012.
- Ruggiero M., Gordon D., Bailly N., Kirk P., Nicolson D. (2011). The Catalogue of Life Taxonomic Classification, Edition 2, Part A. In: Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2011 Annual Checklist (Bisby F.A., Roskov Y.R., Orrell T.M., Nicolson D., Paglinawan L.E., Bailly N., Kirk P.M., Bourgoin T., Baillargeon G., Ouvrard D., eds). DVD; Species 2000: Reading, UK.
Accessed through GBIF Data Portal March 05, 2008:
- Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History: Vertebrate specimens
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 133804
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: Fis-113387
- Fishbase Species ID: 46578
- Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Taxonomic Serial Number (TSN): 645849
- IUCN ID: 228308
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 118854