Blackspot before the tail

PB013064, 72ppi.jpg

I don't want to rely too heavily on this forum, and I don't want to monopolize it.  So I carefully went through Reef Fish from the beginning, page by page, up to odd-shaped fishes.  I looked primarily for the distinctive black spot in front of the tail.  I did not find any fish I consider a match.

These are the fish I found with similar black spots -- silver porgy, spottail pinfish, Latin grunt and butter hamlet.

Is it any of these?  Which one?  Why does it not look like my photo?

Molasses Reef, buoy M1, Key Largo, Florida, Monday, November 1, 2010, depth 32 feet, 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thank You,


black spot before tail

I would say that this is a butter hamlet, based on its location, depth,  shape, coloration, fins and markings.  Your photo looks very similar to at least two of the photos in the digital version of Reef fish ID.  The photo is NOT the other choices you listed.  It is not a latin Grunt based on a number of physical features that do not match the fish in the photo, plus the distribution of the latin grunt does not include the Keys.

Agree with jghart

Butter Hamlet. The one photo in the book (3rd Ed.) looks like yours except for the black "nose" blotch. The book mentions that blotch is an occasional marking. The CD shows a couple of pics without that match your photo well. as soon as you see that triangular face with that loooong sloping "forehead" (caused by their dorsal fin beginning so far back) plus the blue stripes on the face you have to thing hamlet.

Thank you both

It is pretty bad when you come up with three choices and none of them is right.  Thank you both for IDing the fish for me.  I was at REEF headquarters yesterday, inquiring about the DVD.  I asked if it made identifying fish easier; I was told it did.  So, thanks to you, and REEF, the DVD with go on my birthday/Christmas wish list.

You are both a big help to me, and I am deeply grateful.



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