Pipefish or pikeblenny?


Saw this fish in mid-June off Santa Rosa Wall in Cozumel, at about 50'. As the photo sort of shows, it was in a patch of 'weed' in a large sandy area, between reefs. My initial thinking was that it is a pipefish, but it did not move like any pipefish I've ever seen -- very fast and flexible, much more like a snake. My 26 year old son, with much better eyes than mine also claims to have seen a large translucent dorsal fin, but that is not visible to me in the picture. The latter two observations make me think it could be a female pikeblenny, but I've never seen one before, so I have no comparison basis other than "the bible," i.e. Reef Fish.

The bands on the fish really are greenish, though a deeper green in the photo than in real life.



The mouth looks more like a

The mouth looks more like a pikeblenny than a pipefish.  The most common types of pikeblennies are bluethroat and yellowface.  Since you saw it at 50', then it shouldn't be a bluethroat pikeblenny (they're usually found in less than 10' of water).   I can't be certain, but I'd say it's a yellowface pikeblenny.

I think it is probably a

I think it is probably a female Yellowface Pikeblenny.

I would suggest asking the

I would suggest asking the folks at Wetpixel.com - there is a critter ID section within the forums, and the contributors are usually keen to assist!

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