Hi, I would very much appreciate an ID of this fish I took while diving Cozumel in March 2009. Thanks much. Linda
Looks like a blackcap basslet (Gramma melacara). Usually they have a much darker "cap."
Hi DiverDave. Looking at the blackap basslet in my reef ID book, the black cap as you point out is certainly a lot lighter. What about the light belly? That threw me when I was looking for the ID.
I know your pic doesn't look at all like the picture of the typical Blackcap color-wise. The one pic they have in the book is with an almost solid black cap and it is uniformly deep blue-purple. However, I just got the ID DVD for Christmas and it has about 7 or 8 pics (most like the book) but one is just like yours (kind of magenta rather than purple, no cap but a bluish head with gold markings, and a lighter magenta, pinkish "chin"). I think your pic is a Blackcap Basslet. The "belly" may look even lighter in your pic due to the lighting too.
Thanks livi120, That really helps to have your perspective from another photo reference. I took that photo in March and it's been a mystery to me. Now I consider it solved. Fitting tribute to such a beautiful fish!
REEF Headquarters | P.O. Box 370246 | 98300 Overseas Hwy | Key Largo, FL 33037 | USA Phone: 305-852-0030 | Fax: 305-852-0301 | email: REEFHQ@REEF.org