Blenny, goby ID

Images: 
PICT0088a, 72ppi.jpg

I am amazed I saw this tiny (two-inch) transparent fish.  I amazed I was able to photograph it.  I am so proud of the Photoshopping.  To me, all tiny fish are blennies or gobies.  I am guessing goby.  And, after sifting through the interactive DVD, I am guessing pallid goby.  Am I right?

January 18, 2012, Molasses Reef, Key Largo, FLorida, depth 27 feet, bottom temperature 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

Coryphopterus Goby

Oh boy Martin,

You've found one of the troublesome Coryphopterus gobies. This nuisance gang is comprised of seven or eight similar appearing gobies: C. bol (Sand-canyon), C. tortugae (Sand Goby), C. glaucofraenum (Bridled), C. venezuelae, C. eidolon (Pallid), C. punctipectophorus (Spotted), C. dicrus (Colon), C. thrix (Bartail). I might've forgotten one, but those are the most common. Considering the tail bar and habitat we can tentatively throw out C. glaucofraenum and C. bol. The lack of a spot anterior of the lower pectoral fin should also throw out C. dicrus, C. venezuelae, and C. punctipectophorus. This leaves you with:

Sand Goby, C. tortugae

Pallid Goby, C. eidolon

Bartail Goby, C. thrix

When photographing Corphopterus it is good to get as low as possible so you get the full side view. But even then positive ID isn't always possible. I see Ben Victor has updated his website to include adult fish. If you want to wade through his page you might get a little further: http://www.coralreeffish.com/gobiidae2adult.html. It's probably the best reference out there for Atlantic Coryphopterus now.

You're right about the water - it's freezing. I'll look up your phone no. and give you a call when the water warms up.

Louis

Awesome

Your knowledge is awesome.  I am so grateful for your help.  I am trying to think of a safe way to leave you my contact information on this forum, which is so often attacked.  Maybe we could use REEF as a middleman.  You could post here the name of someone at REEF you want me to leave my phone number with, and then you could call him.  Hope to dive with you, and thank you so much for the education.

Marty Dick

if i were forced to guess i

if i were forced to guess i would say tortugae- BUT the very pale sand gobies can be really hard. The spot on the pectoral base can be orange, so that confuses things more. Habitat really helps- mangrovy or shallow rocky dirty water=glaucofraenum, shallow calm sandy reef=tortugae, over 20 feet scuba territory usually bol. Thrix would have more little black spots over the eye, eidolon would be more yellow "speckled all over" look.

Impressive

Wow!  I am really impressed ... and deeply grateful.

Marty

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