Longspined bullhead, or longspined sea-scorpion – taurulus bubalis
Photo and text: Vebjørn Karlsen
The longspined bullhead is a small fish with a thick body and a large head. It can be recognized from its four long spines, two on each side on the gill cover. It can grow to up to 17 cm and is a master in camouflage.
Its colours can range from red when found among the kelp, to brown and creamy when it is among the rocks and algeas. It uses the camouflage to lie in wait to catch prawns, molluscs and other small fishes. Despite its small size they are a feisty little fish and will defend and attack other bigger fishes. The longpined bullhead does not have a swim bladder, meaning that it sinks to the bottom when it stops swimming. If you take the fish out of the water it can give a small sound – almost like a frog.
We find this little fish, which is easy to photograph, all over Saltstraumen, usually from 30m and up. One of the best places is in Oksebåsen where there are a lot of ledges and small cracks.