Northen or Striped Searobin


I found this searobin in about 8fsw at Loblolly Cove, MA.  I'm having a hard time telling if it is a Northern or Striped Searobin  Striped Searobins are suppose to be rare above Cape Cod and Loblolly cove is well north of Cape Cod.  My camera housing was fogging up so these pictures aren't the best.

Identifying Striped Searobin:

1. Two black stripes along side of body

2. Dark blotch between dorsal spines

3. Rare above Cape Cod

Identifying Northen Searobin:

1. Ocellated black spot near edge of first dorsal fin

2. Body mottled above

3. Caudal and pectoral fin blackish

This Searobin:

1. One visible black stripe along side of body.  Can't really see whole body since it was wedged between rocks

2. Black something on dorsal fin

3. Body mottled above

4. Caudal fin not black

5. Found above Cape Cod

A video of this searobin can be seen here:


I vote for Striped!!

Jason, I cast my vote for the Striped Searobin for several reasons. First, comparing the photos in Andy Martinez's Marine Life of the North Atlantic, yours fits the photos shown of the Striped. And here are the features that really stand out as different when looking at the photos (in my opinion):

  • The Striped has a very distinct dark patch on his forehead, as well as a dark line between the eyes. Yours does too. The Northern does not have this.
  • The Striped has a very distinct black lateral line - as yours does - and the photos I can see of the Northern do not have this.
  • Also, the head shape seems more like a Striped.
  • And, the book says the range is to Nova Scotia for the Striped, so you're well within the range.

So there you have it!


Janna Nichols REEF Outreach Coordinator and Fish Geek

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