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Tomicodon fasciatus Family Gobiesoscidae
We were taking pictures of the tiny zebra shells on the granite rocks and never saw the perfectly camouflaged little fish until we zoomed the pictures we had taken. They were at and above the water line, wet and slimy looking. They exactly match the color and pattern of the granite and are truly invisible. They are called Hourglass Clingfish because of the hourglass like markings on their backs. These fish apparently prey on limpets and probably the zebra shell as well, since they were so closely associated with these.
Above the water line on the granite rocks of The Baths, Virgin Gorda Island, British Virgin Islands. Mixed with Zebra shells and limpets.
http://www.ubio.org/portal/index.php?sea... http://www.fishbase.org/summary/Tomicodo... An undergraduate tested the sticking ability of 22 freshly killed Gobiesox maeandricus on eight surfaces mimicking the range of sandpaper grades and reported at the meeting that the fish adhered to them all with an average force 180 times their body weight. (In contrast, rubber suction cups fell off rougher surfaces, sticking only to the three smoothest ones.) Scanning electron microscopy of the clingfish's belly fins revealed that the secret to its staying power may be a rim of microscopic hairs akin to what geckos utilize on their toes to enable them to walk upside down on ceilings. (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/335/60...)
Spotted on Sep 20, 2012
Submitted on Nov 15, 2012