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Fish #173 Spotted Dragonet Callionymus maculatus Beverley Nel
Linoprint on a rolled ink background
The Spotted Dragonet can be found in the North Eastern Atlantic. It is also found in the Mediterranean, including the Adriatic and Aegean but not in the Black Sea. It is similar in shape to the Common Dragonet but smaller. It grows to a total length of 16 cm (6.3 in) in males and 13 cm (5.1 in) in females. Its large eyes are situated close to each other on the top of the head. It has a large, protractile mouth. It can be recognised by its two beautiful high dorsal fins (taller in males than in females). These, and its other fins are attractive, wispy, fan-like structures, which were a challenge to reproduce as a lino-cut!
The Spotted Dragonet is yellowish-brown in colour with a double row of obvious brown spots on the flanks interspersed with smaller blue spots. They are a benthic fish, swimming along the bottom of the sea, living off small invertebrates; mainly worms, snails and crustaceans. They are not endangered and only are caught sometimes as a bycatch, or for aquariums.
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