We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Jawfish?

Mary McMahon
Updated Jun 04, 2024
Our promise to you
All Things Nature is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All Things Nature, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A jawfish is a fish in the family Opistognathidae. The common name for these fish is a reference to their oversized heads and jaws that appear out of scale with the rest of their bodies. Jawfish are reef dwellers and they can be found in shallow reefs in oceans all over the world including the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and Indian Ocean, along with other bodies of water like the Gulf of Mexico. Divers and swimmers in these regions sometimes encounter these shy fish, if they are patient enough to wait for them to emerge.

Superficially, these fish resemble blennies, another type of tropical fish. Like blennies, jawfish are popular as aquarium pets. Some species are very expensive, such as the blue spotted jawfish, and they can become showpiece species for an aquarium. Jawfish are relatively hardy and easy to care for but they do have some special environmental requirements that must be met in order to stay healthy.

In the wild, the fish create burrows, moving rocks and other debris to do so. In an aquarium, they need to be provided with adequate substrate to burrow deeply, along with rubble and debris to support and camouflage the burrow. If they are not provided with materials, they can disturb everything at the bottom of an aquarium attempting to build homes for themselves. It is important to provide the fish with mixed building materials including debris like chunks of corals.

The jawfish will hover over its burrow or lurk just inside waiting for prey to pass. The fish eat a variety of small organisms that drift past in the water and can be fed in captivity using a number of different commercial preparations. When startled or frightened, the fish dart back into their burrows and conceal themselves until they think the threat is over. They can also become territorial. If they sense an invader, they may spit rocks and other debris to scare the intruder away from their burrows.

These saltwater fish are mouthbrooders. When eggs are laid, the male incubates them in his mouth to protect them from predators, periodically swishing the eggs through the water to aerate them.

Jawfish are brightly colored and they tend to be shy. They will hide from more aggressive fish and it is important to keep docile species with them in an aquarium environment to avoid stressing them. Aquarists enjoy keeping jawfish for their bright colors and interesting antics.

All Things Nature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a All Things Nature researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.