North Florida Blenny-like fish: Answered--Pygmy Sea Bass

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P9100032_blenny.jpg
P9100034_blenny.jpg
P9100099_blenny.jpg

I need help with identification of this fish. I saw a number of them on two dives today in the northern Gulf of Mexico, east of Panama City, FL. Depth was 55 to 60 feet. The fish is only 1 to 1.5 inches long. It was very approachable and would actually come towards me as I tried to photograph it. Stayed on the sandy bottom near artificial reefs. Thanks, Carol

Seabass

Looks like a juvenile sea bass to me. Don't know which specie though...

Louis

Pygmy sea bass

The series of dots along its lateral line and small dark blotch on its back are ID keys. They tend to also have a whiteish band toward the tail, but that's variable. Because they are small and just lay on the bottom, they can be easily overlooked. Good find.

Agree with Dave on ID

Pygmy sea bass

Pygmy Sea Bass

Thanks, I skipped right over that one in my book. Figured it had to be some kind of blenny. I totally agree it's a Pygmy Sea Bass. We had amazing visibility yesterday and at one site we spent an hour surveying a site that only had two reef balls on it. That gave us time to look around and see what else was in the area, therefore the pygmies. It was a great photo shoot with juvenile angelfish and jackknife fish, peppermint shrimps, mantis shrimps, gray triggerfish, etc...

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