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Of what species is the following creature?

rainbow fish

I expect it would be a Cephalopod living in not too deep water with a tropical climate (Brazil?). However, I can not find any information about what species it actually is.

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    $\begingroup$ This has already been answered, but from the fin in the upper left corner of the image, you can clearly tell that it is an Actinopterygii and not a cephalopod. $\endgroup$ – March Ho Aug 7 '15 at 13:02
  • $\begingroup$ @MarchHo It would be great if you could write an answer with that and more hints that should've given it away. $\endgroup$ – Mast Aug 7 '15 at 13:08
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This is the Sarcastic fringehead fish (Neoclinus blanchardi). [Source2]

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Didn't see that one coming, completely different than I expected! $\endgroup$ – Mast Aug 7 '15 at 12:20
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    $\begingroup$ Here is a video of the fish performing its dominance display. $\endgroup$ – March Ho Aug 7 '15 at 13:08
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While Ilan's answer has already covered the identification, here are a couple of other techniques which can be used to identify such animals in the future (or at least narrow down the scope of possibilities):

1: The upper left hand corner of the image depicts a fin which has multiple bony protrusions. This is an identifying feature of the Actinopterygii, which all possess such fin structures.

enter image description here

2: The image was not taken by you, but found online. In these cases, reverse image searches can be helpful in identifying the animal, since such reposts are often accompanied with identifying information.

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    $\begingroup$ To do a Google image search, just visit the main Image Search page and click the camera icon at the right side of the search box (at least, that's where it is in Firefox, other browsers may vary). You can then enter an image's URL or upload it from your computer. $\endgroup$ – MattDMo Aug 7 '15 at 13:44
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    $\begingroup$ I did do a reverse image search, which got me a lot of Spanish sites. I did see the name Sarcastic Fringehead on one of those sites, but it looked like a nickname to me since the next picture I saw with that name didn't look similar enough. The photo in the question is an action photo which made comparison to a 'regular' photo difficult. $\endgroup$ – Mast Aug 7 '15 at 15:06
  • $\begingroup$ This is a most enlightening answer! Is this reverse image seeking why some folks seem to have a magic hat where they seem to extract any species identification from? $\endgroup$ – AliceD Aug 8 '15 at 6:42
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    $\begingroup$ @AliceD It's a very useful tool for obtaining the sources of unsourced online images, for example in my second most highly voted answer on Skeptics. However, it is not helpful for photos which were taken by the asker, since they presumably would not have been posted elsewhere with identification. $\endgroup$ – March Ho Aug 8 '15 at 6:44
  • $\begingroup$ Aha! Gotcha. So it may be indirectly helpful for species-identification, but more so for source-localization? $\endgroup$ – AliceD Aug 8 '15 at 6:47

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