Is this perhaps a juvenile Graysby or a Hairy Blenny?


I was in Bonaire (December 5, 2012) trying to photograph a goby (I think it is a Yellownose Goby based on the yellow bar on his pale snout) in a tube sponge. I also captured another fish deeper in the sponge. Does anybody know what it it?

The fish looks like he is sporting a sea bass/grouper mouth. I read in DeLoach’s Reef Fish Behavior book that juvenile Graysby often hide in tube sponges and that is what this one is doing. Also that they feed almost exclusively on shrimp, and if you look around the inside of the sponge there appear to be shrimp shells scattered about. Only problem is this little guy doesn’t seem to fit the description of a juvenile Graysby (there is no white band running from nape, between eyes to lower lip).

Or could it be a Hairy Blenny (it looks a bit like the photo of a Hairy Blenny in Humann/Deloach's Reef Fish ID book, especially the flowing pectoral fins.

Thank you, Toni

Nice picture

If it were a blenny, the cirri should be visible in a photo this good.  I agree that it looks like a juv grouper/seabass, but I don't know.

giant goby

well, that looks like a honking big sponge goby- the yellowline is known to get to over 2 inches long. It is for sure neither a bass or a blenny.

Do you think this guy is on

Do you think this guy is on steroids? He really is huge but I agree, the markings look like a yellowline goby. I was confused because of the size and also the mouth. It looked like a bass mouth but I am new to diving and UW photography so lots to learn. Thank you for the ID. Toni

An easy way to tell that this

An easy way to tell that this isn't a seabass is by looking at its pectoral fin. See how the base of the fin is almost as broad as the rest of the fin. That's common in Gobies, but not in seabass. Seabass will typically have a narrow pectoral fin base that fans out into a big fin.

Here's a Nassau Grouper kindly showing us his typical seabass fin:


I didn't know that. Thank you

I didn't know that. Thank you for the information.

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