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Canon Yes
Reference JTAS:11

Ragfish (Trineroprosopon enteronophagus) is native to Onicrom (world).

Physiology & Ecology[edit]

Sometimes known as the bletch, this handsome piscine creature is native to several freshwater bodies on Onicrom. Most humans find them unusually, disgustingly ugly in appearance and repulsive in their habits. Though quite rare, they have become popular as novelties with wealthy aquariasts, and have been known to sell for as much as Cr15.000.

They are also known for their lethal poison, which is injected into their prey through a telescoping hollow anterior spine. In their natural habitat, small fish are attracted to feed on ragged strips of mucus-covered skin which float from the ragfish's body (and from which the name is derived). These small fish attract larger animals, which fall prey to the creature's poison spine. While the prey is still dying, the ragfish disgorges a number of intestinal tubes with sucker heads, which attach to the prey, secrete digestive juices, and injest liquid and semi-liquid tissue.

Besides being much sought-after by fish collectors, they have been used occasionally as assassin's weapons.

The fish will attempt to inject anything that disturbs it. Crime boss Joseph "Slimey Joe" Siskovitch was found dead in a Regina hotel penthouse in 1106, victim of a ragfish hidden beneath the bubbles of his whirlpool bath. Ragfish can survive for long periods under adverse conditions, even in chlorinated swimming pools and the like. The animal's mantle will keep it moist and alive for as much as eight hours out of water.

The ragfish averages 40 cm in length and masses about .5 kg. The anterior spine, which is less than 10 cm long when collapsed, snaps out to 25 cm when triggered by nearby motion or physical contact. The venom inflicts 4D of damage immediately. A human stung by a ragfish and not killed outright will take 12 endurance-weeks (i.e. a charac- ter with an endurance of 6 would take two weeks, one with an endurance of 12 would take one week, etc) to recover completely.

Antivenom is not commonly available because of the animal's rarity, but a single dose can be prepared from the body of a ragfish (or, more properly, from the poison glands, but in any case, the fish must be killed) by a hospital or medical research lab on any world of tech level 5 or higher. Use of the antivenom will shorten the victim's recovery time by half. Any collector wealthy enough to afford to keep ragfish will undoubtedly keep a frozen supply of the antivenom on hand.

Ragfish are most commonly found in pet stores catering to wealthy or exotic pet-owning clients. They are occasionally encountered as special cargo on board freighters or starliners, sealed in transport aquaria. They are easy to care for, and eat anything longer than 2 cm as long as it is alive. They will not eat dead meat.

Little is known of the ragfish's reproductive habits or life-cycle. It is known that they are egg-layers and bisexual, but paired ragfish in captivity kill one another more often than not, and breeding is difficult. Commercial pet houses increase their stocks by artificial insemination, but this is difficult (and dangerous) which accounts, in part, for the animal's high cost.

Life Cycle & Reproduction[edit]

No information yet available.

Diet & Trophics[edit]

No information yet available.

History & Background (Dossier)[edit]

No information yet available.

Travellers' Aid Society Advisory[edit]

No information yet available.

References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

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