ID help - Bonaire


Saw these in Bonaire this past week.   The Sailor's Choice? was very large but not sure what else it could be.  The Porgy?  doesn't have the yellow was of a saucereye.  Jolthead?

The hamlet seems to be a cross between barred and butter.

Thanks for help.

Fish IDs

The porgy is a Jolthead, Calamus bajanado. Both Joltheads and Saucereyes can have the yellowish wash on the head and the blue line under the eye. The easiest way to tell them apart is probably by their lips. The lips on a Jolthead are about twice as big as those on a Saucereye.

You were right to identify the second fish as a grunt, but it is not a Sailors Choice, it is a Black Margate. Tricky because he's not sporting his usual dark blotch. Again, look for the big blubbery lips. Nice corals in this shot.

Sorry, I'm not very good with the Hamlets.

Nice pictures.


Fish IDs

Thanks Louis, I appreciate the tips on telling the differences, too! 


Bonaire fish ID

The big lips and impressive size made me think jolthead for the first picture, too.

For the big grunt, is it because the dots on the scales are so distinct, and the iris is a bit yellowish instead of white that you identified the fish as a black margate instead of a white margate?  There is a little bit of dark wash behind the pectoral fin.  Do you think the dark area is more pigment than shadow?

It is interesting that the saddle on the hamlet's caudal peduncle is big and black as in the butter hamlet, rather than a small band as in the barred hamlet.  The barred hamlet has darker yellow in the ventral fins with some brown, while the butter hamlet has both ventral and anal fins a clear yellow.  I have the same butter/barred intuition.

I am no expert, just a novice, so I hope that a confident taxonomist will comment.

Ed Sunderland

Hi Ed, I believe the larger

Hi Ed,

I believe the larger eye is the reason for Black Margate vs. White Margate.  White Margate has distinctively smaller eye. 

Thanks for your comments about the hamlet.  I agree completely!


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