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scubamarli

Blenny ID

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This little fellow is from Turneffe Island in Belize. The striped cirri are quite distinctive. Closest that I can find is a Ringed blenny, but I'm not convinced. Anyone recognize him??

Cheers,

Marli

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Most probably a secretary blenny (Acanthemblemaria maria).

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I woul not say Secretary blenny at all. They are Black (charcoal) and white with vivid yellow eyes.

 

the eyes are the key tothis guy i think that and the blue and red spots from what we can see. I would have said Roughhead but this guy has two distinct horns.

But it doesn't look like a twin horn ... no war paint on it's face

Starskia of some sort ?

I am still lookng as i know we have done this one before

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I still think it is a Chaenopsidae (Emblemaria or Emblemariopsis) because of the place of origin and shape of the dorsal fin (the first spine seems long, like in Emblemaria), and behavior.

 

The picture looks very similar to the secretary blenny on Paul Humman's 3rd edition book. Besides, this is not typical Starksia behavior, they are never in holes like that, they hide deep inside the reef. The Starksia on the link was recently described from specimens that I collected in St. Croix, Starksia smithvanizi.

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I would agree that everywhere says Starksia don't behave like that ... but isn't it general goby behaviour to be either in a hole or out of one?

 

I know Alex knows what this guy is cause I am sure he's told me before

I looked at the same gallery but a different image http://www.reefnet.ca/galleries/2002-07/Un...rksia%2003.html which is also not it .. but again shows you the eyes. Itdefinately has the two horns and a spiked dorsal fin by the look of it that is flattened.

 

I used to know the common name for it .. but i can't remember it still :)

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I don't think its a StarskiNhutchia.

 

My guess would be a female Emblemaria sp from the two cirri stalks above the eyes. But I dunno.

 

Alex

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Here is a blenny from my last dive (in Cayman) that I could do with help with. I would say this is a Starksia sp possibly hassi. But I'm not very familiar with this genus - so any other guesses would help. About 1 inch long. I see these from time to time in Cayman. But they are skittish - see images!

 

Sorry the pictures aren't great - but they were done on a 5060 and using TTL - shock-horror!

 

Alex

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do blenny's do hybrids ?

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Hmm, well my other guess was female dark headed blenny...there's lots of species which are near impossible to tell apart. I saw lots of really tiny ones, but this one was a bit larger...(we're talking puny, regardless). Alex's looks a bit like Starksia nanodes from Humann's 2nd edition, but you can't see the tail, so the defining spots can't be seen. Starksia hassi "has a diagonal bar at the base of the pectoral fin", which this one doesn't. There are tons of Starksia species listed on Fishbase without images, so it's difficult to say...

So maybe I'll never know what mine is either...thanks for the guesses.

Marli

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Hi Marli, we will figure it out, at least to genus, to accurately identify to species you would need to count fin-rays and make measurements. I am almost sure it is an Emblemaria (mainly because of the position of the first dorsal fin spine), but I will forward your photo to the specialist on the group and I will tell you what he has to say. I will also forward Alex' Starksia.

 

About the hybrids, they are possible, but only between very closely related species, something between a Starksia and Emblemaria would be practically impossible, they are on different families.

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Ok, here it goes, it is a small female sailfin blenny (Emblemaria pandionis). The specialists agree, and the photos on Humman's guide look very similar. I am still working on the Starksia.

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That's great. I thought it looked similar, but without a "sailfin", couldn't make the distinction.

Cheers,

Marli

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