Ningyo is a blanketed term for the highly diverse aquatic humanoids found throughout Japan. Unlike their European relatives, Ningyo are not famed for their enchanted voices or seductive prowess. Solitary, Ningyo are rarely encountered due to their elusive nature but have been documented throughout Japan’s history.
Carnivorous, the Ningyo’s diet primarily consists of fish, however, depending on habitation their diet can also include water fowl, crustaceans, frogs and a myriad of other wetland fauna. Not overtly dangerous to humans, adult Ningyo have been known to attack and kill unsuspecting fishermen.
Much like the Fugu the Ningyo’s flesh is highly toxic but consuming said flesh is said to bestow upon the consumer immortality and youth. Yet it is believed that a Ningyo can bring plague, death and destruction to entire villages should it escape a hunters grasp.
Unlike the flesh of a Ningyo, it’s roe is considered a highly coveted delicacy.
River, lake, and pond Ningyo lay their brood in rudimentary mud nests, where they are regularly moistened with water by their mother. These mud nests sit just above the water line to avoid predation.
The illusionary facial features are believed to have evolve as a defense mechanism. The Ningyo’s “true eyes” are located on the far side of it’s head. While it’s “false eyes” sit where a human’s would. These false eyes are actually highly sensitive receptors used to hunt at night and in the murky depths. While it’s mouth appears relatively similar to that of a humans, it is actually hinged and can extend like that of a fish. It’s mouth filled with tiny serrated teeth.
Sexual dimorphism is minimal, with males and females being relatively identical in size and shape. However males, upon reaching sexual maturity, will grow two long whiskers on each side of their lips. Primarily understood to be display appendages, they also act as another sensory organ to hunt and locate females.