Red Irish Lord Fish and Its Adaptations
The Red Irish Lord Fish, whose scientific name is Hemilepidotus hemilepidotus can be described as one of a kind in the fish species due to its unique characteristics that will be discussed in this paper. Typically, Hemilepidotus hemilepidotus belongs to the Cottidae fish family and they are commonly found in the north of the Pacific Ocean especially in Russia, Alaska, and Monterey Bay. The Red Lord Fish has not only a unique name but also its physical features are quite unique compared to other fish (Fernweger, 2013). Some of its physical characteristics are largely associated with how Hemilepidotus hemilepidotus camouflages and adapts to its surroundings.
To start with, Hemilepidotus hemilepidotus is quite colourful although it is generally described as being red in colour. This species has some white, brown, and black mottling in its skin. Nevertheless, the Red Irish Lord Fish is capable of changing into other colours, such as pink and purple. This colourfulness plays a significant role in enabling Hemilepidotus hemilepidotus not to be spotted by predators. For effective colour change, the Red Irish Lord Fish is mostly found in rocky habitats of the sea (Romanuk, & Levings, 2006). It hides in between rocks and changes its colours into that of the rocks. As such, when a predator comes along, they will think that the fish is a rock and this will prevent Hemilepidotus hemilepidotus from being eaten. The same way that the Red Irish Lord fish camouflages by changing its colour when in between rocks, it does the something when in sea plants, such as the coral reefs, making it unidentifiable to the enemies. One of the most intriguing things about the Hemilepidotus hemilepidotus is that it is not harmful to humans although it tries to evade them as it sees them as its enemies.
Also, the aspect of changing color in this fish species is helpful whenever they are predating. In other words, Hemilepidotus hemilepidotus changes their colors to resemble their habitats so that they can attack other sea animals for food. The Red Irish Lord fish food mostly consists of crabs, small fishes, ocean worms, and mussels (Doyle, & Mier, 2012). Generally, the Red Irish Lord fish’s camouflage is exemplary such that it is very hard for their predators to spot them and many people refer to them as the invisible Irish Lords. Nevertheless, Hemilepidotus hemilepidotus is not to be confused with the brown Irish lord, Hemilepidotus spinosus, which has a much wider band under the dorsal fin.
Another distinguishing characteristic of the Hemilepidotus hemilepidotus is that their eyes, compared to other fish species, bulge out more. Well, there is not enough proof, but some scientists have suggested that their big eyes help them to spot their preys much faster (Britt, Loew, & McFarland, 2001). Another way they the red Irish Lord fish’s eyes helps them in camouflaging is that when they are closed, their predators will not know that it is a fish compared to when they were open. Most importantly, Hemilepidotus hemilepidotus is that they have a continuous dorsal fin which has three parts in different steps, this enables the fish to move more swiftly when they spot a prey.
Overall, Hemilepidotus hemilepidotus main way of camouflage is through changing in color. The red Irish Lord fish changes their colors, red, to blend with that of their habitats in order to hide from the predators or attach a prey.
Britt, L. L., Loew, E. R., & McFarland, W. N. (2001). Visual pigments in the early life stages of Pacific northwest marine fishes. Journal of Experimental Biology, 204(14), 2581-2587.
Doyle, M. J., & Mier, K. L. (2012). A new conceptual framework for evaluating the early ontogeny phase of recruitment processes among marine fish species. Canadian journal of fisheries and aquatic sciences, 69(12), 2112-2129.
Fernweger, K. (2013). Red Irish Lord. Shedd Quarium. Retrieved from www.sheddaquarium.org/blog/2013/03/Red-Irish-Lord/
Romanuk, T. N., & Levings, C. D. (2006). Relationships between fish and supralittoral vegetation in nearshore marine habitats. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 16(2), 115-132.