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Species: Starksia lepicoelia, Blackcheek Blenny

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body: red, each scale - dark bar
D & A bases: row red spots
male opercle - large dark blotch
lips barred

Starksia lepicoelia Bohlke & Springer, 1961

Blackcheek Blenny

Body elongate, compressed; bluntly pointed head; eye, nostril and nape cirri unbranched; dorsal fin XX (XIX-XXI), 8 (7-9), a notch between spines and rays; 1st anal spine of male long, free from rest of fin, modified as sexual organ, no ridge or fold along anal fin base; anal fin II, 17 (16-18); pectorals 13 (13-14); pelvic fins I (internal), 2, inserted before pectoral base; all fin rays unbranched; lateral line continuous, front section arched, rear section straight, 15 (14-16) + 20 (20-21) scales; belly completely scaled to at least rear half scaled; smooth scales on rear of body.

Head and body grey-brown to red-brown, body sometimes with indistinct narrow pale bars; body scales each with a short dark bar; lower rear corner of preoperculum of male with a large dark blotch, with a pale spot or narrow pale bar angled down from eye; lips of fresh and preserved female with alternating dark and light areas, lips of preserved male with distinct dark bars or blotches; a row of small dark spots along the bases of the dorsal and anal fins; males with dusky outer parts of dorsal and anal fins, and sometimes with a row of small dark spots along outer part of anal fin.

Reaches 2.8 cm.

Lives in live coral areas, usually on dropoffs.

Depth range: 1-27 m.

The Bahamas and NE Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Sponges
  • 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
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 2.8
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 27