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phxazcraig

Blenny ID needed

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I've done a lot of diving in the Caribbean, mostly Roatan, and I'm confused about the blennie I see in Roatan.  At first the divemaster called them Secretary Blennie, but some guides I used say that Secretary blennies always have an orange ring around the eyes.  These never do.  I think they are ether Roughhead or Spinyhead blennies, but depending on my source and the pictures, the subject might be one or the other, or neither.

190923-144112-8-D850.jpg190923-091714-8-D850.jpg

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This is a spinyhead blenny. 

The confusion around the IDs is long running. First, many people refer to all the tube blennies collectively as secretary bennies - even though there is a specific species called secretary blenny. These ones are commonly called spinyhead secretary blennies too!

The true secretary blenny is a shallow water species (rarely seen by boat divers, usually only seen by shore divers) and there is confusion about it because on the early (but widespread) editions of one of the popular ID guides had a photo of a spinyhead under secretary blenny.  This one can be orangey around the eyes - but is more obviously spikey on its head.

The one with orange around its eyes is the roughhead blenny (which has both a dark and golden colour form).

Alex

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On 5/10/2020 at 10:04 AM, Alex_Mustard said:

This is a spinyhead blenny. 

The confusion around the IDs is long running. First, many people refer to all the tube blennies collectively as secretary bennies - even though there is a specific species called secretary blenny. These ones are commonly called spinyhead secretary blennies too!

The true secretary blenny is a shallow water species (rarely seen by boat divers, usually only seen by shore divers) and there is confusion about it because on the early (but widespread) editions of one of the popular ID guides had a photo of a spinyhead under secretary blenny.  This one can be orangey around the eyes - but is more obviously spikey on its head.

The one with orange around its eyes is the roughhead blenny (which has both a dark and golden colour form).

Alex

Thanks!  I've wondered this for years.   Every time I thought it was a Spinyhead, I'd see some picture of a blenny with almost antlers they were so 'spinyheaded'.   These guys are all over the Roatan sive sites I go to, and even down at 60 feet sometimes.

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