Unknowns and best-guesses from Roatan. Part 5: Triplefins


Two pics (same individual) of what appears to be a triplefin, at 20 feet depth on hard coral/algae surface.  Maybe these aren't even triplefins.  looked up flagfin blennies and even dragonets, but my guess is juvenile triplefin.  Dragonet?  I don't know.

Last pic is the only good one I got of a larger (maybe 2.5" long) indivual on a dock piling, about 2 feet depth.

Since the second dorsal fin is translucent, I can't tell which dorsal fin is taller.  The darkness and pattern of the bands, especialy the bar at the base of tail, are supposed to be diagnostic, but frankly they all pretty much look similar to me.

That's all for now. When I get through my Curacao pics, I'll post more.  Thanks.


 ETA - for some reason, the first two pics are not displaying.  I'll try again later.

E. boelhkei

I don't know what your first fish but it's not a Triplefin.

Until recently the protocol was to call any generic triplefin Enneanectes boehlkei (Sorry don't know common name). But unfortunately Ben V. has a new paper on the Triplefin so now we're supposed to be able to ID them. Good luck: http://www.oceansciencefoundation.org/josf7b.html


That's alot of triplefins to consider

Neat paper by Ben Victor.   This paper includes only the E. bohlkei group, and doesn't help with distinguishing this group from E. pectoralis (redeye) or E. atorus (blackedge).  Besides, I don't think I have any confidence in my fin-ray-counting ability.  I have a lot to learn. 

I got a better look at the relative size of the dorsal fins in some other photos I took, and it is definitely not lofty (E. altivelis), nor probably not E. atorus.

For now, I'm just calling this E. boehlki...it lacks the caudal peduncle color and fin color markings of the new critters described in the paper, and from the description in the reef fish software, I feel pretty confident that it would key out to roughead (E. boehlkei), but if Ben V is around the forum, he could still weigh in on this one.

I'm thinking that the top photos are a flagfin blenny (Emblemariopsis signifera).  It fits the description pretty well and I've come across a few web photos labeled as flagfin (e.g. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jcnavarrog/4635848831/).

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