Cojinoba Medusa
(Icichthys lockingtoni)

Medusafish, Icichthys lockingtoni: The Medusafish is named after Medusa, an ugly creature with hair made of snakes, from Greek Mythology, due their young’s association with jellyfishes, which provides them with protection from predators and opportunities to scavenge the remains of the jellyfish’s meals.

They have an elongated rectangular body with a pronounced forehead and a large rounded snout.

They are bluish gray to brown in color with dark fins. They have 3 dorsal spines and 34 to 39 soft rays, 3 anal spines and 20 to 25 soft rays; the caudal fin is rounded with a small notch and the pectoral and pelvic fins are small and rounded.

The Medusafish is a pelagic oceanic species that is found in the north Pacific from Japan to the Gulf of Alaska and as far south as the Pacific Coast of central Baja. They are found from the surface to 2,700 feet in the water column. They reach a maximum length of 46 cm (18 inches).

The Medusafish is a member of the Centrolophidae Family of Medusafishes known in Mexico as Cojinobas. Globally there are 31 species from 7 genera of medusafishes. They are found in temperate and tropical waters throughout the world.

Medusafish picture

Medusafish, Icichthys lockingtoni: Fish collected by H.J. Walker, Jr., Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, Calif., in a deep water trawl net off Point Loma, Calif., in August 2010. Length 19 cm (7.5 inches). Description courtesy of John Snow.