The norwegian topknot, Phrynorhombus norvegicus, is a quite insignificant little flatfish which has amazing colour change abilities. (See next picture for another colour example) Consequently it is not often seen except just as it takes off as a diver approaches. It is often then dismissed as "just another little flattie". Most guide books list as a south and west coast fish but it is actually very common in rocky areas of the North Sea. Colour is a basic nondescript brown but this varies very dramatically to suit the surroundings. In the picture, a norwegian topknot has just moved off an area of mixed red algae and colourful bryzoans. Unlike its close relative the common topknot, it does not cling onto rock surfaces but relies on this camouflage ability to aid detection. It is quite a narrow shape with a pointed snout and the skin is rough with many tiny spikes. It grows to a lenth of only 12cms.
North Sea - St. Abbs Marine Reserve