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Species: Hypoplectrus unicolor, Butter Hamlet

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side of snout: +/- black blotch
tail base: black saddle

Hypoplectrus unicolor (Walbaum, 1792)

Butter 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.

Head, body and fins whitish to pale yellow; fins as body, except pelvics bright yellow, and pectorals are clear; a large black blotch or saddle on upper tail base, sometimes smaller and/or less distinct blotches under or before that saddle; sometimes a large blue-ringed black blotch between eye and front of top jaw; a blue line around eye, that extends below as a thin blue bar; thin blue bars sometimes present under and behind eye, and sometimes on the front of body, or entire body.

Reaches 13 cm.

Lives on reefs.

Depth range: 3-60 m.

S Carolina through the Caribbean.

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Species Data Create Report Export as Word File Export as Excel File
  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 13
Depth Range Min
  • 3
Depth Range Max
  • 35