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Species: Starksia melasma, Blackspot Blenny

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back ~9 saddles; flank 1-2 rows spots
lower head & mouth: many pale spots
male: first 4 D spines: large black blotch

Starksia melasma Williams & Mounts, 2003

Blackspot Blenny

Body elongate, compressed; bluntly pointed head; eye, nostril and nape cirri unbranched; dorsal fin XVIII-XIX, 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; pectorals usually13; 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) + 19 (18-19) scales; belly and pectoral base naked; smooth scales on rear of body.

Red-brown to green brown, body may be faintly barred; 1-2 rows of small dark spots along flank; about 9 dark saddles on back that extend onto dorsal fin base; lips brown, with a narrow pale bar under eye; lower head and mouth with many irregular small pale spots; anal fin with a dark stripe near edge; males with a large black blotch between dorsal spines I-IV .

Reaches 2.5 cm.

Lives in rocky areas, including caves.

Depth range: 7-15 m.

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
  • Antilles endemic
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • Island (s) only
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 2.5
Depth Range Min
  • 7
Depth Range Max
  • 15