The amazing Yellowhead Jawfish.

The jawfish are masters of architecture. They use their large mouths to scoop sand from the seabed and then spit it out to one side. They continue to dig until they have created a vertical tunnel with a chamber at its end. The jawfish will shove rubble around the burrow entrance and lodge larger bit of debris along the length of the tunnel to give it more structural integrity.

The Yellowhead Jawfish inhabits the Western Central Atlantic. Its native range stretches from Florida, USA down to the northern parts of South America. It is typically found in sandy and rubble-strewn reef environments. These fishes enter the burrow tail first and you can often see their head stick up from the whole while the rest of the body remains hidden.

When the fish is not hiding, you can see it hover vertically in close vicinity to its burrow, often straight above it. If anything frightens it, it will instantly dart back to its protective burrow tail first. This fish will not swim around much, because it wants to stay close to its burrow at all times. In the wild, you can find large colonies of Yellowhead Jawfish.

The depth range for the Yellowhead Jawfish is 3-40 meters / 10-131 feet, the largest scientifically measured was 10.0 cm / 3.9 in. The body is of a bluish gray shade and decorated with an abundance of pale blue dots. The head, nape and anterior section of the dorsal fin are yellow. On the chin, you can se a pair of black dots.

The Yellowhead Jawfish feeds chiefly on zooplankton and detritus, since it is primarily a carnivore.

During spawning, the male will court the female by swimming in an arched position with his fins spread towards her. The Yellowhead Jawfish is an egg-laying species where the male fish broods the offspring inside his mouth. This is called paternal mouth-brooding. The eggs will hatch inside his mouth and the offspring will not be released until they are large enough to be free swimming.