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Red Sea "Rhinoceros" blenny


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#1 Glasseye Snapper

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 11:46 AM

This one is from the same general area (right side of Marsa Shagra bay) and again less than 2m depth. I have only seen it inside tube holes and it strongly reminds me of the Caribbean tube blennies in behavior and head shape. I haven't come across anything like it for the Red Sea or general Pacific area.

 

Bart

 

RhinocerosBlenny1.JPG

 

RhinocerosBlenny2.JPG


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#2 Glasseye Snapper

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 11:01 AM

Update,

 

After posting, I contacted Ben Victor, a blenny expert, and he forwarded the message to Jack Randall and Sergey Bogorodsky. The conclusion is that this fish remains a mystery and it may be a goby instead of a blenny. Since this is a one-off sighting it is hard to know if it is just some oddity or a distinct feature of some unknown species. If anyone interested in small fish travels to Marsa Shagra then please keep an eye out for them. I found them in the dead limestone coral blocks along the right-hand side of the Marsa in 1-2m of water.

 

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#3 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 02:35 AM

I thought I’d this photo to the discussion. Seems to be the same species. Also found in shallow water in the Red Sea. I have no further information on ID. Looks much more like a blenny than a goby to me.

 

RS14_am-14245.jpg

 

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#4 ChrigelKarrer

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 06:00 AM

The position inside the tube, the face shape and the colors are very close to a barnacle or tube blenny.

The main difference is the single cirri as most blennies have two cirri.

Maybe some kind of mutation?

Chris


Edited by ChrigelKarrer, 26 February 2015 - 06:01 AM.

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#5 Glasseye Snapper

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Posted Yesterday, 05:14 PM

By chance, I was just talking about this fish today with Sergey Bogorodski, an expert in Red Sea fish who is keen on finding out more about this fish (they will release a new Red Sea fish diversity book which I hope will be as good as the Reef Fishes of the East Indies trifecta). I will let him know about this second sighting. Alex can you say anything more about the dive site. The one I found was in the Marsa Alam area, Marsa Shagra, in about 2m depth. Its tube hole was in a dead limestone block facing the sandy chute leading from the beach out through the reef. I will be back in the Red Sea this May and would love to see and study it better.

 

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#6 Alex_Mustard

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Posted Today, 12:28 AM

Alex can you say anything more about the dive site. The one I found was in the Marsa Alam area, Marsa Shagra, in about 2m depth. Its tube hole was in a dead limestone block facing the sandy chute leading from the beach out through the reef. I will be back in the Red Sea this May and would love to see and study it better.

 

Bart

 

 

Hi Bart, 

 

Of course. The one in my photo was at a very similar depth. At Gubal Island at the mouth of the Gulf of Suez in the Strait of Gubal. The little guy was also in a hole in a non-living coral rock, in a small lagoon between the fringing reef and the land.

If you know the barge dive site, you swim in shore and through a shallow cut in the reef to the lagoon. Ahead of you, after you arrive in the lagoon, there is a large branching hard coral, which I call the lemon tree because it is always filled with lemon gobies and surrounded by sand is a great place to photograph them. This rhino - unicorn blenny was on past the lemon tree on the inside edge of the lagoon. 

 

Knew it was strange when I shot it (and actually borrowed a friend's SMC close up lens to shoot it), but then didn't think any more and went back to shooting more regular subjects. 

 

Alex


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