Thursday, March 01, 2018

Leopard skin and sequins

I found this sculpin lying on the beach, still bright and richly patterned, even as he lay dead.

He's about 8 inches long.

The belly and tail are a black and tan leopard skin print, the head is decorated in sequinned sunbursts, continuing down the sides with shiny chevrons. And look at those icicle-turquoise spines at the sides!

Zooming in.

I think this is a buffalo sculpin, Enophrys bison; these are extremely variable in colour and pattern, but the raised scales down the sides and the long spines at the back of the cheeks are distinguishing features. Most of the buffalos have several white or light-coloured bands across the body; this one has two.

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