Some unknown fish from Curacao

Slippery Dick.jpg
Bridle Cardinalfish.jpg

A few more unknown fish from my trip to Curacao.

1) In about 20 - 30 fsw. I'm thinking some stage of slipper dick or painted wrasse
2) I was pretty sure these are Bridle Cardinalfish but when I went to log the survey the REEF error checker said these were reported in less than 1% of surveys, so I just wanted to get some other opinions. Pic taken in less than 10 fsw
3) No good idea on this one. Maybe a bicolor coney? Pic taken in 20 - 30 fsw



Fish ID

1. Wrasses are tricky. I can't identify yours, but I'm pretty sure it's not a Slippery Dick.

2. I agree, looks like a Bridle Cardinal.

3. Definitely a Coney.


Hard to tell

1. The top and bottom look like very pale initial Yellowhead Wrasse, the middle one is very pale but may be the same. Agree, don't think Slippery Dicks.

2. I don't think we can see enough detail in this pic. To me they look as if they have a dark area at the base of the tail (where it meets the body) and I can't see the Bridle's eye stripe, so they could be sawcheek, or maybe even striped. The funny thing is that these guys are on the same anemone as the pic of Bridle on the H/D ID book. But I don't think that a species of cardinal is associated to only a particular anemone, is it?

3. Although blurry I'd go with Coney also.

bridle cardinal and anemone association

Jim Hartman This article indicates an association of the bridle with the "curlycue" anemone. Another photo with this association is here: The picture on this site shows an association with the giant anemone: So that is cool if they do that more so than other similar looking cardinals. But I could not find a good scientific article on this.

Still confused

Thanks to both of you for your comments

1. Still not sure about these guys

2. Even more confused now. I was originally debating between Sawcheek and Bridle. Since I found these guys in very shallow water and the book says Bridle are found in 2 - 40 feet and Sawcheek in 40 - 200, I was leaning Bridle. But after checking the CD it has the depths for Bridle and Sawcheek reversed from the book with Sawcheek in 2 - 40 feet. Since the visual ID is hindered due to lack of good pics I was going to use the depth as the deciding factor, but now with conflicting reports from the book vs CD I don't know which to go with. Any ideas?

3. OK, its a Coney.

cardinal's depths I have:

In the H/D REEF FIsh 3rd edition:
Bridle: 2-250 ft.
Sawcheek: 40-200 ft.
Striped: 5-40 ft.

Bridle: 40-250 ft.
Sawcheek: to 200 ft.
Striped: to 40 ft.

So, the only difference is that in the book (3rd edition) they gave the Bridle a wider depth range. All it means is that at your depth it could still be any of these suspects. Afraid depth is not going to be much help either.

Fish ID

Your mystery fish are definitely: 1. Initial Phase yellowhead wrasse (they are quite variable in color and often are very pale like these), 2. Bridle Cardinalfish (as a previous poster said, they are almost always found with those corkscrew anemone), 3. Coney

RE: the flag for the species as new reports in the REEF database and/or reported in less than 1% of the surveys- as the main datachecker for the REEF data, I appreciate you taking pause!  That flag isn't surprising for cryptic species like cardinalfish.

Christy Semmens, REEF Director of Science

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