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Species: Malacoctenus versicolor, Barfin Blenny

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D: front elevated, dark
5 wide dark bars (extend to D edge), front 2 ivert
D XVIII, front elevated, dark

Malacoctenus versicolor (Poey, 1876)

Barfin Blenny

Head slender, snout pointed; usually 7 or more cirri over both nostrils, a pair of heavily branched nape cirri, a branched cirrus over eye; upper part of rear end of top jaw covered by bone under eye; no small teeth 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, XVIII spines; pectoral rays usually 14; 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; any scales on pectoral base are smaller than body scales; lateral line tubes or canals at least on front of body; smooth scales on rear of body.

Body whitish in female, reddish in male; a series of ~5 wide dark bars along rear of head and body, extending almost to the edge of the dorsal fin; the high front of the dorsal fin is dark; fins spotted in female but not male.

Reaches 7.8 cm.

Lives on rocky shores and areas of sand and rubble.

Depth range: 0-40 m.

Bahamas to the S Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Omnivore
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Pelagic fish eggs
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC endemic
  • Insular primarily
  • 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
  • 7.8
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 40