Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Starksia sluiteri, Chessboard blenny, Spotted blenny

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

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 or Spotted 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

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
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
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Sessile worms
  • Data
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Live birth
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • West Atlantic Endemic
  • All species.
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Extends South of GC
  • Island (s)
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s) only
  • Also in Brazil
  • 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