Time and Tide Bell ~ #200Fish

A Continuing Arts Programme facing Lincolnshire's Coast

#200Fish is a community project to create works of art based on each of the species of fish found in the North Sea

To learn more and find out how to join the project click here.

Fish #172B Common Dragonet Callionymus lyra ~ Wayne Prosper

Oil pastel 30 x 42 cm

For Sale

Common Dragonet

The common dragonet, Callionymus lyra, is widely distributed in and around the seas of the UK, Europe and the coast of Africa. It feeds on a wide range of small crustaceans and marine worms, although they will alter their behaviour to feed on whichever food source is the most abundant. The fish has an elongated, scaleless eel-like body and flattened head. Eyes are located on the top of the head and the mouth is relatively large. In mature males the first dorsal fin is high and triangular and is often described as looking like a ship's sail. Females and immature males have much smaller fins. Males can grow to a length of 30 centimetres (12 in) while the females can reach a length of 25 centimetres (9.8 in). They can be found at depths from 5 to 430 metres (16 to 1,400 ft) however they are mostly found at depths of no more than 30 metres (100 ft). This fish is not currently an endangered species.

There are almost two hundred species of dragonet across the world, with many of these fish living in tropical waters and being extremely brightly coloured. The common dragonet is the most common species of dragonet in UK waters and while the females are dull in colour, the males can give their tropical counterparts a run for their money in the colour stakes during the breeding season, with oranage, yellow and streaks of blue making them an extremely colourful fish. The male displays these bright colours to attract a female and they are known to mimic each other's swimming pattern prior to mating too - this is called their 'mating dance'.

This picture was inspired by a photograph taken by Kåre Telne and caught my eye because of its striking colours and by the obvious fact that it does indeed resemble a mythical dragon when its fins are fully extended. The picture was painted with oil pastels.

My work, just like the ethos of #200Fish, is to highlight the beauty and indeed the fragility of our environment. I love all things sentient and by painting wildlife in their most basic and bare form, with no background I hope that more people will come to realise just how important it is for us as humans to stop destroying wildlife and habitats which for no other reason appears to be for greed, vanity and want of possession.

"We all spin on this planet in the same unchanging direction and our time here is precious. So why don't we all agree to protect habitats, protect life and in so doing, protect our planet because if we don't then we are surely destroying ourselves."

Fish #172A Common Dragonet Callionymus lyra ~ Lesley Morris


For Sale

Fish #172C Common Dragonet Callionymus lyra Diana Copeland

Acrylic on canvas board 30 x 40 cm

For Sale

The Common Dragonet

In days of old, or so I'm told, big dragons they breathed
flame, I may be small, only eight inches tall, but I have a
super name. 'CALLINOYMUS LYRA', which sounds so
great, but I'm just 'Common Dragonet' to all my mates.

I'm an orangey-brown, spectacular fellow, with my fins in
bands of blue and yellow. I live at the bottom of the
Southern North Sea, on the Fairy Bank, which you'll
agree, is a really good place for a Common Dragonet to

It may be cold, but I am bold, and am looking for a wife, I
will puff my cheeks and raise my sail, I pose a bit, but to
no avail, so far all I have attracted is a nosey snail.

When my sweetheart comes from February to April, we
will get together; we'll swim and play and eat all day, and
hope this lasts for ever.

We eat small crabs, slugs, snails and worms - I expect
that diet would make you squirm. We love our home in
the fine North Sea, we think it is fantastic; but here's a
heartfelt plea from me, please don't fill it up with plastic.

Diana Copeland

Reference: britishseafishing.co.uk/common-dragonet

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Lincolnshire Time and Tide Bell Community Interest Company is a not-for profit organisation, registered at Companies House. Company Number 10934941