Urechis unicinctus (Penis Fish)

Create “inns” for other sea creatures
Urechis unicinctus (Penis Fish) Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Urechis unicinctus
Urechis unicinctus (Penis Fish) Physical Characteristics
Brown, Yellow
25 years
Urechis unicinctus (Penis Fish) Distribition

Penis Fish Recap

Additionally called the penis fish, Urechis unicinctus is a species of aquatic spoonworm discovered throughout East Asia. It feeds upon tiny natural product and develops burrows in sand and mud. Sometimes, great deals might deplete and obtain stranded on coastlines. They are a prominent special in Korea, China, and Japan.

5 Penis Fish Realities

  • Little fish and shellfishes frequently live inside the U- designed passages created by this worm.
  • Penis fish radiate a mucous web that they make use of to record plankton, microorganisms, and fragments.
  • Researchers have actually uncovered U- designed burrows appearing like those made by the worm going back virtually 300 million years back.
  • A penis fish can meet 25 years, yet couple of endure that long.
  • In Korea, penis fish are called “gaebul” and are frequently consumed raw with sesame oil and salt or Gochujang sauce.

Penis Fish Classification and Scientific Name

The penis fish likewise passes the name of the fat innkeeper fish or garloid. It comes from the family Urechidae and the genus Urechis, which consists of 4 species, all informally called this fish. Its scientific name, Urechis unicinctus, stems from the Latin word uni, or “one,” and cinctus, indicating “belt” or “bordered.” In Korea, it passes the name “gaebul,” which converts to “dog genital areas,” as a result of its phallic appearance.

Penis Fish Appearance

Penis Fish
In Korea, penis fish are called “& ldquo; gaebul & rdquo; and are frequently consumed raw with sesame oil and salt or Gochujang sauce.

S. Evgenia/Shutterstock. com

Regardless of its name, it is not really a fish yet an aquatic spoonworm. It obtains its name from its uncommon, phallic- like form. Their body is lengthy and round, with the majority of samplings determining in between 10 and 30 centimeters long. They show up yellow-colored- brownish, and their skin is smooth and covered in little papillae. Penis fish have a spatula- designed proboscis that they make use of for feeding, swimming, and excavating their passages.

Penis Fish Habits

Researchers understand little concerning their way of living or habits. They are detrivores that live the majority of their life in burrows they dig in sand or mud. Little fish and shellfishes frequently make their residences in these burrows and live off of the remaining food fragments that the penis fish expel, for this reason the name “innkeeper fish.” The spoon worm endure this partnership, as it profits every one of the celebrations entailed. They typically deplete on the coasts of coastlines in varieties. To this particular day, researchers do not understand why this takes place. Some think that they deplete as a result of tornados, while others compete that they swim bent on sea to reproduce and after that obtain cleaned onto land.

Penis Fish Distribution, Population, and Environment

They invest the majority of their lives underground. The worms dig U- designed passages in sand and mud that gauge a couple of feet long and as broad as their body. The sand or substratum should be solid sufficient to hold its form yet likewise not as well difficult to dig via.

You can locate penis fish throughout East Asia. They vary from the Bohai Gulf in China along with along the shores of Korea and Hokkaido in Japan. The majority of feed on the western coastline of Korea, in contrast to the eastern coastline. This most likely involves the high variety of tidal flat and sandy coastlines along Korea’s western coast.

Penis Fish Predators and Target

Numerous animals victimize penis fish, consisting of otters, sharks, rays, flounders, and sea birds such as gulls. When they deplete ashore, groups of gulls will certainly come down on this buffet with such gusto that a few of the birds can hardly relocate later. The various other key risk originates from humans. They are a special in China, Korea, and Japan, although industrial angling is bothersome as a result of the problem postured in collecting them. Penis fish are likewise typically utilized as lure to capture huge fish.

Referred to as detritivores, they survive on a diet of tiny natural product. Their diet contains both fragments along with microorganisms and zooplankton. They have a ring of glands near the front of the proboscis that can radiate thick mucous. Penis fish action backwards via their passages till a sticky web of mucous lines the whole framework. When sufficient food fragments are caught in the mucous, they after that move on via the passage and ingest the web and anything trapped inside the mucous.

Penis Fish Reproduction and Life-span

Little is understood about the reproduction behaviors or the life process of penis fish. Some scientists think that they swim bent on sea to reproduce. This might discuss why great deals occasionally clean onto land en masse. Although they can meet 25 years, this seldom takes place as a result of the dangers postured by predators and humans.

Penis Fish in Angling and Food Preparation

Numerous nations typically include them in food, consisting of China, Japan, and Korea. It has a moderate taste that expands much more extreme the much more you eat it. According to some, it tastes a little salted and pleasant. You can likewise boost its taste by washing it with seawater, making it rather sweeter and fishier. Generally, the fish is cut right into items and consumed raw. In Korea, individuals frequently eat it with salt, sesame oil, or gochujang sauce.

Penis Fish Population:

Although they sometimes deplete in substantial amounts ashore, these mass dieoffs show up to have not had significant effect on their populaces in East Asia. On top of that, while they are a special in some nations, they are instead tough to harvest, making industrial angling tough. Little is understood about their conservation status, and no well-known initiatives exist to secure the supply. Presently, the IUCN has actually Not Detailed the penis fish as a species of worry.


  1. , Available here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7178014/
  2. , Available here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24698400/
  3. , Available here: https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/14/us/fat-innkeeper-worms-california-beach-scn-trnd/index.html
  4. , Available here: https://travelfoodatlas.com/penis-fish-south-korea

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