Meet our first Fish of the Month for 2022, the Black Brotula (Stygnobrotula latebricola)!
Survey Regions: The Black Brotula is found in Florida, The Bahamas, and throughout the Caribbean, as well as Brazil. These areas are part of REEF's Tropical Western Atlantic (TWA) survey region. Click here to see a TWA distribution report for this species. Of all the locations in the TWA region, St. Vincent and St. Lucia (both REEF Trip destinations in 2022) have the highest TWA sightings frequencies for this species. Spaces still remain on the St. Lucia trip on May 7-14, 2022 - consider joining us later this year!
Size: They grow to about 8 cm, which is just over 3 inches.
Identifying Features: Black Brotulas can be blackish-brown or black in color. They have a rounded head and jaw profile and an elongated body with continuous dorsal and anal fins. Their body becomes ribbonlike towards the rear, ending in a pointed tail.
Fun Facts: Black Brotulas live deep in crevices and caves. When they do venture into the open, they may act as cleaners for larger fish and eels. They are also viviparous, which means they bear live young, rather than oviparous, or egg-laying, like most other fish. They may occasionally be seen in pairs.
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for our next Fish of the Month.
Photos by Paul Humann.