The yellow-head jawfish is a mouthbrooder. After fertilizing the eggs, the male jawfish collects the mass of eggs in his mouth….hundreds of ’em….and carries them around until they hatch. While he’s patiently waiting for his kids to hatch, the father can’t feed himself. This, of course, is because his mouth is already occupied and he probably wouldn’t want to accidentally swallow his children! After the eggs hatch, the dad hits the buffet line for a while to try to gain some weight back!
The yellow-head jawfish, Opistognathus aurifrons, is a fish in the order perciformes. This order comprises 40% of all the bony fish in the world.
The yellow-head jawfish can be found in the Caribbean region including South Florida, and lives on or near shallow coral reefs.
The yellow-head jawfish feeds on tiny prey such as small fish and krill as it hovers over its burrow – always ready to dart in if danger approaches.
Chew on this:
Notice the large size of the head, eyes and jaws of this little fish. The big mouth is perfect for doing house cleaning – spitting out sand from its tunnel and rearranging the little chunks of coral rubble that never seem to be in quite the right place to suit it.
Like other species of jawfish, the male uses his mouth for brooding the female’s eggs until they hatch.