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Related FAQs: Marine Life of the Tropical West Atlantic, Tropical West Atlantic 2

Related Articles: TWA Invertebrates, Algae, Vascular Plants, Introduction to Fishwatcher's Guide Series Pieces/Sections, Lachnolaimus maxiumus/Hogfish, Hogfishes of the Genus Bodianus

The Tropical West Atlantic: Bahamas to Brazil, Part 9

To: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 10, Part 11,


Bob Fenner  

Combtooth Blennies, Family Blenniidae, Scaled Blennies, Family Labrisomidae, Flag Blennies, Chaenopsidae, Triplefins, Family Tripterygidae, Suborder Blennioidea. Like most tropical and cool water marine environments on this planet the TWA is blessed with a plethora of blennioid species. With the continuing growth of the reef part of our hobby, you can expect more from this area as time goes by. Presently the less-desirable, Redlip (Ophioblennius atlanticus) (1) and Seaweed Blennies (Parablennius marmoreus) (1) make up the bulk of the Atlantic Blenny market. These species are okay in looks, but leave much to be desired in their pugnacious territorial behavior.

Ecotype: Shallow rocky reefs.

Ophioblennius atlanticus (Valenciennes 1836), the Atlantic Combtooth Blenny. Tropical Eastern and Western Atlantic. To more than seven inches in the wild. Aquarium images.

Acanthemblemaria aspera Metzelaar 1919, the Roughhead Blenny. Tropical West Atlantic. To 1 1/4" long. Conspicuous cirri above eyes.  Color variable. Here in a hole in Cozumel. 

Malacoctenus bohlkei Springer 1959, the Diamond Blenny. Tropical West Atlantic; Bahamas to Belize. This one off of South Bimini. To about two and a half inches in length. Easily approached underwater, once observed!

Malacoctenus triangulatus Springer 1959, the Saddled Blenny. Western Atlantic; Bahamas to Brazil, St. Paul's Rocks. To three inches in length. This one happily perched on a leather yellow coral (Hi Don!) in captivity.

Gobies, Family Gobiidae. As with the blennioids, there are several (from the Middle English meaning "many") species and numbers of gobies in the TWA. Also, these fishes are as yet almost unknown in the trade; with the exception of the genus Gobiosoma (1). These cleaner gobies are great for all makes of marine systems. The several (here's that word again) species are hardy, easy to keep blips of color (they're small) that most fishes recognize as non-food items. The principal species of use, G. oceanops (1) (is extensively cultured for aquarium use), but a few others are also tank-raised. Examples of others used include, the Yellowprow, G. xanthiprora, very similar Yellownose or Randall's, G. randalli, and Sharknose (G. evelynae) (2) Gobies.

Ecotype: Gobiosoma establish cleaning stations as pairs or groups, perching on suitable biota, waiting for customers to come on by.

The Sharknose Goby, Gobiosoma evelynae Bohlke & Robins 1968. Tropical West Atlantic; Bahamas to Venezuela. To about two inches in length. Variable in color. Gobiosoma evelynae; blue and white striped adults in the Bahamas, and one in Bonaire.

Gobiosoma illecebrosum Bohlke & Robins 1968, the Barsnout Goby. Central Western Atlantic; Yucatan of Mexico to Panama. Identified in the field by a white bar that runs midline between the eyes, blue line on either side of the body that extends to the tail. Cozumel image. 

Gobiosoma oceanops (Jordan 1904), THE Neon Goby. Tropical West Atlantic; southern Florida to Belize. To two inches in length.

Gobiosoma prochilos Bohlke & Robyns 1968, the Broadstripe Goby. Tropical central West Atlantic. To four cm. Bred in captivity. These off of Cancun, Mexico. 

Gobiosoma randalli Bohlke & Robins 1968. Yellownose or Randall's Goby. Tropical West Atlantic; Puerto Rico to Venezuela. To under two inches in length. Here are an individual in captivity, and one off Bonaire.

Genus Coryphopterus:

Coryphopterus dicrus Bohlke & Robins 1960, the Colon Goby. Tropical West Atlantic; Florida to Venezuela. To two inches in length. In the Bahamas.

Coryphopterus eidolon Bohlke & Robins 1960, the Pallid Goby. Western Atlantic; Florida to the Lower Antilles. To two and a quarter inches in length. This one in the Bahamas. 

Coryphopterus glaucofraenum Gill 1863, the Bridled Goby. Western Atlantic; N. Carolina to Brazil. To three inches in length.  One photographed in the Bahamas, another down south in Bonaire. 

Coryphopterus lipernes Bohlke & Robins 1962, the Peppermint Goby. Western Atlantic; Bahamas to the Lower Antilles, Caribbean coast. To one and a quarter inch in length. Bahamas, Cozumel  and Bonaire pix.

Coryphopterus personatus, (Jordan & Thompson 1905), the Masked Goby. To 4 cm. Western Atlantic; Florida to Lower Antilles. Bonaire pix, where this species is ubiquitous on the coral reefs.

To: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 10, Part 11,

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