The fringhead is all about puttering about the ocean floor looking goofy and then scaring the holy hell out of you when it thinks you're too close. It should really be called the intimidating fringehead. So why is it called sarcastic?
It is ferocious with a big mouth and aggressive behavior and the 'sarcastic' designation is said to come from the fact that it's 'bitey', like the kind of humour for which it's named. "Exceptionally quarrelsome" is the way David Attenborough describes them in the video below.
When two fringeheads have a territorial battle, they wrestle by pressing their distended mouths against each other, as if they were kissing (*snort*). This allows them to determine which is the larger fish, which establishes dominance. Also, when its mouth is distended it looks like this:
|Why in the name of nature does it need rainbow colours? Do fish even see that?|
If you're still with me, and trying to imagine how big this fish is, the wait is over. They're tiny and really difficult to take seriously because they're mostly always hiding in a snail shell. They should be called the ironic fringehead.
|Here's some context for ya|
I'm starting to see why we have the attitude here. Sarcastic fringeheads have a Napoleon complex.
They can be up to 30 centimetres (12 in) long and are mostly scaleless with highly decorative dorsal fins. They tend to hide inside shells or crevices.
|Who's a scary fringehead?! You are big guy!|
They are found in the Pacific, off the coast of North America, from San Francisco, California, to central Baja California and their depth range is from 3 to 73 metres (9.8 to 240 ft).