| Ecological Descriptors
Body elongated, light bluish gray with numerous pale blue dots. Head bright yellow to a yellowish cast. Long dorsal and anal fins, ventral fins elongated.
Inhabit burrows made of crushed coral or sand, down to 40m (150ft). Individuals excavate burrows in the sand by mouth. They reinforce the edge of the burrow and the tunnel with pebbles or shells. When not disturbed, they hover vertically, above or near the burrows, feeding on plankton. When danger threatens, they disappear into their burrows, tail first. At night they sometimes close the entrance of the burrow with a larger pebble. The male courts the female by swimming in an arched position with his fins spread towards her. Male broods the eggs orally until hatching. When he wants to eat, he deposits the eggs in his burrow.
Males orally brood the eggs until they hatch. Little information is known of the larval life but the free swimming planktonic larvae probably are of short duration. Spawning extends at least from spring through late autumn. The short larval life of jawfishes is advantageous since this period is the time of greatest predation. Unhatched fish are protected by the brooding parent .
(C) Dr P Ryan/ RyanPhotograhic