Not Much To Go On….


I realize that these pics are barely passable, if at all. I'm hoping the colouring or the markings, will allow someone to suggest an identity or put forth a guess. As always, the assistance is greatly appreciated!!

There are three blenny

There are three blenny families.

The Chaenopsids (Tube Blennies). Long, thin, and mostly smaller with tubular shaped bodies. They often perch in holes with just their heads exposed. Think Secretary Blenny, Roughhead Blenny, but also the Pike Blennies.

Blenniids (Combtooth Blennies). Often big, robust, and with goofy faces. Think Molly Miller and Redlip Blenny.

Labrisomid Blennies (Scaly Blennies). Can be big or small. Most have scales that are clearly visible. Usually more of classic fish shape with flattened sides. Think Rosy Blenny, Hairy Blenny, and also the Triplefins.

Your fish are both Labrisomid blennies. Your first fish is in the Malacoctenus genus which includes 8-10 species in our area. It's difficult to see any clinching characteristics but based on the picture I'd say Malacoctenus erdmani (Imitator Blenny). As a poor college student I'd put $50 bucks on M. erdmani and I'd up it to $100 if I knew the habitat were surfy.

Your second fish is in the Labrisomus genus. They tend to be larger with blocky heads and blunt faces. It's impossible to tell from your picture but it's either a Hairy, Mimic, or Puffcheek Blenny or one of their close relatives. Those guys don't move around too much - If you dive there again you can often find the exact same fish hanging around the same area. Hopefully you can get a clearer picture and we can get an ID!



Louis, before I read your response I would have also said M. erdmani for the first image because of the coloration so I won't be betting against you! However next time you're in town let me buy you a beverage.

Now, that's an answer :)

A couple of things....both species seen at the Barcelo Maya on a reef about 100' offshore (not surfy...) in about 10-15' of water. Unfortunately the trip was in February (and yes, still combing through pics) and I tried like heck to find that same spot the next day, with no luck. Perhaps a final ID is not meant to be, which I expected, but I can't thank you enough for the tutorial.

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