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I took this shot on the reef outside of Vessup Beach, St. Thomas. I think it is a yellowtail reef fish based on the discription from H&D with an irridescent (sp) blue line in v shaped pattern on snout and over eyes. Is this identification correct?
I'm certainly no expert, but I don't see any yellow on the back dorsal or the anal fins that a Yellowtail Reeffish would have, (and those fins look to be the wrong shape, too). The V pattern on the snout doesn't seem well enough defined.
The blue lining to the fins, shape of the back dorsal and anal fins might point to the Yellowtail Damsel instead. I'll let someone else chime in here though.
I am very familiar with yellowtail reeffish and can tell you it isn't one of those--it would also have yellow on the back part of the dorsal fin.
I lean towards an intermediate stage of the longfin damselfish. They have the blue V on the snout, and the thin, bright blue margins on the anal fin. The juveniles also have the bright blue margin on the dorsal fin.
I agree, an unusual coloration for any of the species- not a yellowtail reeffish, which is a smaller thinner species found in deep water.. the blue lines on the head are a feature of juveniles of several species and the dusky body and yellow trim also. I would favor a beaugregory because of the prominent dark spots on the pectoral fin bases, but couldn't exclude the other species, or even a hybrid.
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