|Reproduction||Sexual; lay eggs|
|Locomotion||Swimming powered by caudal fin|
|Predators||King of Swimmers|
|Related Species||Osteoporofysh, Plated Janitorfysh, Scaled Janitorfysh|
|Language(s)||Pop joints in their fins|
Armored Janitorfysh are a species of janitorfysh, a group of bottom feeding arthrognathids related to the more aggressive, predatory clackers. They are found along the northern coastal seas of the Zeeon continent on their home planet of Vuunega, and can be found in especially large numbers between the mainland and the huge offshore island, Myrandha.
Although powerful swimmers, the sheer weight of their armored plates keep them from being able to lift very high off of the substrate and therefore cannot pose any real threat to larger organisms. Instead they spend their lives sifting through the sea floor for invertebrates.
- Species Type: Cold-blooded Aquatic Icthyoid
- Lifestyle: Solitary Sifters
- Hunt/Forage Success Rate: 100% Hunt (45% success rate)
- Armor: Like all other Janitorfysh, Armored Janitorfysh have heavily armored heads. The back half of their body is soft tissue and sinuous however and is not protected like this. The head itself is virtually impenetrable.
- Defenses: Because the back half of their bodies is muscled but uncovered by armored plating, Armored Janitorfysh are, despite their names, at a disadvantage against their predators. To help against this, should one of these Janitorfysh sense a predator in the area they will wriggle their incredibly agile back halves to bury them into the soil. A common tactic is to first bury their tails and then curl it underneath their armored body and place it in their mouths. Their fins can also kick up sand to blind any organisms in the area if necessary.
- Weapons: Armored Janitorfysh do not have the necessary equipment to attack would-be aggressors, and instead try to remain hunkered down in the sea bed until their foes give up. However they have teeth able to crush shells of certain invertebrate species that they may find and predate upon. Other prey items are often either mortally wounded by their crushing teeth or immediately swallowed whole.
- Tools: This species of Janitorfysh does not have much ability to manipulate their environment, although they can wriggle into the sea bed. Their fins can act as makeshift shovels and help drag them along the ocean bottom.
- Method of Eating: Unspecified
- Reproductive Rate: Armored Janitorfysh cluster into temporary spawning colonies during the spring months, where they breed indiscriminately en masse. A juvenile Janitorfysh will not be sexually mature until its second year.
- Gestation: A single clutch of eggs can easily be produced within a few days time, and are immediately released. From there, the eggs will spend 2.5 months in specialized grooves in their mother's armor before hatching.
- Number of Offspring: ~70 per clutch
- Offspring Survival Rate (before age of maturity): 15-17% — while they are initially relatively safe growing in the grooves of their mother's armor, they eventually must leave and fend for themselves. At this point most became the victims of predation.
- Singular/Plural: Armored Janitorfysh / Armored Janitorfysh
Armored Janitorfysh are medium-sized bottom-feeding placodermic ichthyoid found in the Northern Ocean. They can grow to a length of about 5ft, though the largest known individuals have been recorded as reaching upwards of 7ft; this however is an incredible rarity. They are at the bottom of the macroscopic food chain, while they themselves feed upon the invertebrates hiding in the soil.
Despite being related to the Clackers, Janitorfysh are not considerably aggressive; the Armored Janitorfysh is no exception to this rule. They favor sloops of various kinds, but also enjoy eating small spinocephalopods as well as krebbs. Although they technically are not like the Clackers which are known to "never have an empty belly" out of a sort of gluttonous hunger, the sea floor is so packed with critters that they never have to worry about finding food. Janitorfysh will also feed on dead larger organisms should they come across them, never one to pass up a potential free meal.
Armored Janitorfysh have moderately thick bones in their head, which aided in the prevention of injury and also helped to secure the powerful muscles required to power the pectoral fins. Their back half has much thinner bones that are instead durable and flexible, allowing for the back half of their bodies to essentially tie itself in knots if need-be. Like other Corythichthyds they do not possess true teeth, but instead have developed bony plates into rounded, crushing tooth-equivalents.
As their names indicate, they have a heavily armored head, which makes their front halves quite well protected, though it greatly diminishes their swimming speed.
The muscles of the janitorfysh genus are focused in their jaws for biting strength and crushing power, in their pectoral fins to power their movement across the sea floor, and in their tails to make it essentially prehensile and letting them pull their more vulnerable back half underneath themselves for protection.
Normally, Armored Janitorfysh are solitary creatures, much like many of the Corythichthyds such as the other janitorfysh and the clackers. Unlike clackers however the janitorfysh are non-aggressive to their own kind and will simply ignore each other — after all, there is plenty of food to go around. To communicate they pop the joints of their fins, although their language is a simple thing and by no means elaborate in any sense of the word. Interestingly, should an Armored Janitorfysh live to near its maximum life expectancy, they will begin to develop an ailment similar to arthritis, leaving them to communicate less and less.
While normally solitary, during the warming spring months they congregate to several pocket areas to spawn, the largest of which is along the coast of Myrandha, the planet's largest microcontinent. Here there are so many of their kind along the sea floor communicating that their clicking sounds become audible throughout the waters. This has become a tourist attraction during these months, as some locals and diving enthusiasts consider it a fascinating and sometimes almost religious experience.
Mating is almost orgy-like, with all janitorfysh mating indiscriminately with one another and maximizing their potential for offspring. A notable consequence is this is that janitorfysh are perhaps known for the most amount of natural hybrids in the world, as they will make no distinction between different species if they happen to be in the same general area. Janitorfysh will wrap their prehensile tails around each other and males will directly deposit their milt into the females. Once the eggs have gestated a few days later she will birth them, and them breathe them into her gills, where they will become set in her armor grooves until hatching.
While not maternal mouthbrooders like their clacker cousins, the Armored Janitorfysh has grooves in their armored plating that can be accessed by swimming into their gills, where the eggs and eventually very young fry will live and continue to develop in safety.