Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Hypoplectrus maculiferus, Bicolored hamlet

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forehead to back & spiny D - dark brown; rest yellow
large black spot: side snout & top tail base

Hypoplectrus maculiferus (Poey, 1871)

Bicolored hamlet

Head and body deep, strongly compressed; forehead straight; snout relatively short; top jaw protrusible; rear of top jaw exposed when mouth closed, without accessory bone above it; teeth fixed; preoperculum angular, serrated, several small forward pointing spines on lower edge near the corner; gill rakers 17-23; dorsal fin X, 14-17, no notch after spines, membranes between spines not indented; pelvics long, reach to or beyond anus; tail fin slightly forked; lateral line scales 48-53; soft dorsal and anal fins mostly scaleless.

Upper head, back and spiny dorsal dark grey-brown, rest of fins and body yellow; side of snout with a large, ocellated black spot; irregular blue spots and thin blue bars on front of head; a large black saddle on upper tail base.

Reaches 13 cm.

Lives on reefs.

Depth range: 3-12 m.

Cuba to the southern Caribbean

Note: Due to its rarity, and the similarity of its color pattern to that of the common species H. aberrans (the only difference is that H. aberrans lacks a strong tail-base blotch), H. maculiferus likely is simply a color variant of the latter.

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  • Marine
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
  • Data
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • West Atlantic Endemic
  • All species.
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
Regional Endemism
  • All species..
  • Island (s)
  • Island (s) only
  • GC endemic
  • Caribbean endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Data deficient
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 13
Depth Range Min
  • 3
Depth Range Max
  • 12