Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Malacoctenus erdmani, Imitator Blenny

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back - dark saddles
back under (but not onto) rear D spines: ocellus
lower body & tail base: ~10 dark bars

Malacoctenus erdmani Smith, 1957

Imitator Blenny

Head slender, snout pointed; usually 2 cirri over nostril and over eye, a pair of heavily branched cirri on each side of nape; upper part of rear end of top jaw covered by bone under eye; small teeth present behind outer row of large teeth on upper jaws; no teeth on sides of roof of mouth; notch between spines and rays of dorsal fin, usually XIX, 10-12; pectoral rays usually 16; pelvic fins with I (internal), 3, last ray difficult to see, its length >1/4 length of longest ray, inserted before pectoral base; all fin rays unbranched; 40-69 lateral line scales; no scales on pectoral fin base; lateral line tubes or canals at least on front of body; smooth scales on rear of body.

Greenish grey, with irregular dark barring on body, that intensify as dark saddles along upper back; belly and lower tail base may have a series of ~10 dark to blackish bars, some joining the upper-body saddles; a black-ringed green ocellus on upper back immediately under but not extending onto last dorsal fin spines; fins without spots.

Reaches 3.8 cm.

Found mainly in rocky areas, sometimes with seagrass.

Depth range: 0-11 m.

The Bahamas to the S Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • 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
  • 3.8
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 11