Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Starksia sluiteri, Chessboard Blenny

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body: 2-3 alternating rows dark blotches, center row round
lower head & pectoral base: no conspicuous marks
male: D front spot & blotch top opercle

Starksia sluiteri (Metzelaar, 1919)

Chessboard Blenny

Body elongate, compressed; bluntly pointed head; eye, nostril and nape cirri unbranched; dorsal fin XIX (XIX-XX), 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, 15 (15-17); pectorals usually 13; pelvic fins I (internal), 2, inserted before pectoral base; all fin rays unbranched; lateral line continuous, front section arched, rear section straight; belly naked; smooth scales on rear of body.

Head and body greenish-brown, lower head & pectoral base without pale spots or conspicuous marks; male with a large, dark blotch on upper rear corner of preoperculum and operculum; body of both sexes with 2-3 partly alternating rows of black to dark rounded blotches, central row of ~6 blotches, top row of ~8 blotches, 3rd row of ~ 5 blotches, top row extending onto dorsal fin base, with orange spots on base of fin above those blotches; body with dark scale edges; male with a dark blotch at front of dorsal fin immediately above one of the top row of dark body blotches.

Reaches 2.5 cm.

Lives on reefs in crevices on reef crests and forereefs.

Depth range: 1-40 m.

Islands of the southern Caribbean, also in Brazil.

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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 non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • Island (s) only
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 2.5
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 40