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Species: Starksia atlantica, Smootheye Blenny

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

no eye cirrus
cheek + dark horseshoe; edge preoperculum: no dar
body blotches - 3 tiers
dark blotch end base D, sometimes A
pectoral base: pale area - wavy edges
pelvic 2
belly naked/ rear 1/3 scaled

Starksia atlantica Longley, 1934

Smootheye Blenny

Body elongate, compressed; bluntly pointed head; no eye cirri; nostril and nape cirri unbranched; dorsal fin XIX (XVIII-XX), 5-7, a notch between spines and rays; anal fin II, 15-16, 1st anal spine of male long, free from rest of fin, modified as sexual organ; no ridge or fold along anal fin base; pectorals 14 (13-15); pelvic fins I (internal), 2, inserted before pectoral base; all fin rays unbranched; lateral line continuous, front section arched, rear section straight, 15 (14-15) + 19 (19-20) scales; belly scaleless to rear 1/3 scaled; smooth scales on rear of body.

Head and body pale brown, with irregular dark brown to red-brown to orange blotches in a network of thin pale lines, usually arranged in 2-3 longitudinal, offset rows, the upper blotches forming saddles on the upper back, although body sometimes nearly uniform; cheek with an irregular horseshoe shaped dark blotch; without a dark line along rear edge of preopercle; pale space between 2 dark blotches on pectoral fin base has wavy edges; bases of dorsal fin spines situated above each back saddle with a red-brown to orange pigment; a prominent ¾ eye-sized black spot on top (and sometimes another on bottom) of body extending onto bases of last soft dorsal (and anal) rays.

Reaches 2.5 cm.

Lives on reef flats and outer reefs in coral rich areas.

Depth range: 1-24 m.

The Bahamas to the NE Caribbean.

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  • 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
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Sessile worms
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Live birth
  • 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
  • 2.5
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 24