What A Mouthful! Male fish Takes On The Task Of Protecting Its Eggs

Jawfish Hatching Their Eggs In Mouth

KAZ2.0 / CC BY-SA 2.0

Jawfish Hatching Their Eggs In Mouth

Jawfish are native to warmer parts of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, where found from the shallows to depths of a few hundred meters. Most jawfish species are small fish up to 10 cm or 3.9 inches.

Their heads, mouths and eyes are large in size relative to the rest of their bodies. It can be either rounded or pointed. Jawfishes are mouth brooders it means their eggs hatch in their mouths, where the newborn fry are protected from predators.

Jawfishes typically reside in burrows they construct in sandy substrate. They will stuff their mouths with sand and spit it out elsewhere, slowly creating a tunnel. Using the protection of these burrows, these fish will hover, feeding on plankton or other small organisms, ready to dart back in at the first sign of danger. They are territorial of the area around their burrows.


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