Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Red Sea "Rhinoceros" blenny


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 Glasseye Snapper

Glasseye Snapper

    Tiger Shark

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 586 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Edmonton, Canada
  • Interests:Fish ID & behaviour and photos thereof

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


Olympus OM-D EM5/Nauticam, 12-50mm & 60mm macro
Sea&Sea 110a, iTorch, GoPro3 BE

#2 Glasseye Snapper

Glasseye Snapper

    Tiger Shark

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 586 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Edmonton, Canada
  • Interests:Fish ID & behaviour and photos thereof

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.

 

Bart


Olympus OM-D EM5/Nauticam, 12-50mm & 60mm macro
Sea&Sea 110a, iTorch, GoPro3 BE

#3 Alex_Mustard

Alex_Mustard

    The Doctor

  • Super Mod
  • 8443 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Peterborough

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

 

Alex

 


Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#4 ChrigelKarrer

ChrigelKarrer

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 706 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Playa Herradura-Costa Rica and Sardinia-Italy

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.

Nikon D800 - Sigma 15mm - Nikon 105mm Micro VR - Hugyfot Housing - 3 Inon Z-240 strobes - 2x2 8'' ULCS arms

Canon G12 with Patima aluminium housing - Fuji E900 with Ikelite housing
Visit My Costa Rica Website - Visit My Italy Website


#5 Glasseye Snapper

Glasseye Snapper

    Tiger Shark

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 586 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Edmonton, Canada
  • Interests:Fish ID & behaviour and photos thereof

Posted 05 March 2015 - 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.

 

Bart


Olympus OM-D EM5/Nauticam, 12-50mm & 60mm macro
Sea&Sea 110a, iTorch, GoPro3 BE

#6 Alex_Mustard

Alex_Mustard

    The Doctor

  • Super Mod
  • 8443 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Peterborough

Posted 06 March 2015 - 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


Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#7 Glasseye Snapper

Glasseye Snapper

    Tiger Shark

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 586 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Edmonton, Canada
  • Interests:Fish ID & behaviour and photos thereof

Posted 06 March 2015 - 02:54 PM

Thanks Alex.

 

This is almost certainly a new species and my gut feeling was also that it is a blenny rather than a goby. But the single horn/cirrus is very unusual for either family. To me, and also Chris, it in particular resembles Caribbean tube blennies. But according to fish base and the experts not a single member of the tube-blennies (Chaenopsidae family) is known from the Pacific. So if this ends up being such a blenny it will be a big surprise. I expect to be in either Safaga or Marsa Shagra in May and now have a good idea in what types of habitat to look for them.

 

Cheers,  Bart


Olympus OM-D EM5/Nauticam, 12-50mm & 60mm macro
Sea&Sea 110a, iTorch, GoPro3 BE

#8 JimG

JimG

    Sting Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 275 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Yorkshire, UK
  • Interests:Photography - underwater and avian, natural history

Posted 07 March 2015 - 01:16 AM

Nice find Bart and good luck. It might become Blennius hazesii!


Jim Greenfield - Canon 5D Mark 3/Aquatica
My Web Site


#9 Glasseye Snapper

Glasseye Snapper

    Tiger Shark

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 586 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Edmonton, Canada
  • Interests:Fish ID & behaviour and photos thereof

Posted 09 March 2015 - 02:01 PM

As one who struggles to memorize names, I prefer descriptive nomenclature. But nothing will happen until someone catches a few of them for morphological and DNA analysis. I think that would involve using some kind of chemical sedative to get them out of their tubes. Not sure if I'm up for that and it would probably need special export paperwork. Better to find some areas where they can be reliably found and then leave it up to the scientists.

 

Bart


Olympus OM-D EM5/Nauticam, 12-50mm & 60mm macro
Sea&Sea 110a, iTorch, GoPro3 BE

#10 Alex_Mustard

Alex_Mustard

    The Doctor

  • Super Mod
  • 8443 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Peterborough

Posted 10 March 2015 - 12:19 AM

This is almost certainly a new species and my gut feeling was also that it is a blenny rather than a goby. But the single horn/cirrus is very unusual for either family. To me, and also Chris, it in particular resembles Caribbean tube blennies. But according to fish base and the experts not a single member of the tube-blennies (Chaenopsidae family) is known from the Pacific. So if this ends up being such a blenny it will be a big surprise. I expect to be in either Safaga or Marsa Shagra in May and now have a good idea in what types of habitat to look for them.

 

Cheers,  Bart

 

I agree that it looks very like a Chaenopsid tube blenny, but I can’t believe it is one, either. More likely a case of convergent evolution - if you are a blenny and you decide to live in a tube, you are going to end up looking a certain way! The mouth, in particular is very like a tube blenny, and not really like any Red Sea blennies I know.

I can’t see any way that a true Chaenopsid could be in the Red Sea.

 

Tube blennies (Chaenopsidae) are a New World species (found in Tropical Atlantic, Caribbean and warmer areas of the East Pacific). Here are a few for comparison. There is no doubt that there is plenty of resemblance in size and shape. Although all these have paired cirri between the eyes (and more over the rest of their heads). In fact I have never used the word cirrus before, because I have never seen an unpaired cirri!

 

Caribbean rough head tube blenny - which looks most similar

CAY12_am-11536.jpg

 

Caribbean rough head tube blenny (golden type)

CAY11_am-13414.jpg

 

East Pacific brown cheek blenny: 

MEX10_am-11162.jpg

 

East Pacific signal blenny: 

MEX10_am-13974.jpg

 

I agree this is most likely new species and it has gone undetected because of its unusual habitat preference. I showed my photo in a talk last week to 250 keen divers, most of whom dive in the Red Sea regularly, and nobody came up saying that they had seen it before. 

My only other theory is that this is a juvenile of a larger blenny, but that does not account for the mouth looking so like a tube blenny.

I also don’t believe it can be an invasive species (there is a lot of shipping in the Red Sea) - because it does not look like anything else known from elsewhere.

 

So for a name Mimoblennius unicirrus!  :nea:  

 

Alex


Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#11 ChrigelKarrer

ChrigelKarrer

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 706 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Playa Herradura-Costa Rica and Sardinia-Italy

Posted 11 March 2015 - 07:19 AM

Due the high cargo ship traffic in the red sea a "immigration" of tube blenny's would be possible as a several red sea species migrated to the Mediterranean sea.
As they are (in this moment) only this two photos documenting the "Mimoblennius unicirrus" and the single cirrus is unique and a true mystery i personally believe

that it is a rather young or immigrated and mutated species as the red sea is one of the most documented seas in the world.
Anyway, only a professional analysis of a dead example max reveal his ancestors.

 

One question, did you noticed his behaviour to "jump" extremly fast out and in the tube? This is the normal behaviour of both species below!

 

Chris

 

Two (but not limited to) Tube or Barnacle blenny along the costaricean shore (not Cocos Island) are:

Bluntspine Blenny (Acanthemblemaria exilispinus)

MacroBarnacleBlenny2.jpg
 

 

Panamic Barnacle Blenny (Acanthemblemaria hancocki)

MacroRedEyeBarnacleBlenny.jpg
 


Edited by ChrigelKarrer, 11 March 2015 - 07:21 AM.

Nikon D800 - Sigma 15mm - Nikon 105mm Micro VR - Hugyfot Housing - 3 Inon Z-240 strobes - 2x2 8'' ULCS arms

Canon G12 with Patima aluminium housing - Fuji E900 with Ikelite housing
Visit My Costa Rica Website - Visit My Italy Website