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Species: Acanthemblemaria aspera, Roughhead Blenny

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spines: short, sharp, 2 V shape clusters, 3-5 behind eyes, no papillae
cirri: eye - heavily branched, nasal - 2-3 tips
D XX-XXII, I with flap
male: dark, front - many dots, D front - white + ocellus
female: yellowish, dark spots - operculum, D base (12-14) & A base (10)

Acanthemblemaria aspera (Longley, 1927)

Roughhead Blenny

Body elongate; short blunt head; small pointed spines on snout, extending back on forehead to less than half way to dorsal fin, 2 clusters of 3-5 spines behind eyes, spines without papillae; 1 pair of strongly and complexly branched cirri over eyes; nasal cirrus with 2-3 tips; multiple rows of well-developed teeth on side of roof of mouth; dorsal fin XX-XXII (1st spine with a flap), 14-17, a notch between spiny and soft parts; anal fin II, 22-25; pelvics I (internal), 2-3, inserted before pectoral base; all fin rays unbranched; no lateral line; no scales.

Colors changeable: males colorless to dark, with many small dark dots on rear of head and front body, front of dorsal whitish, with an ocellus between spines III-IV; females usually yellowish with 3 broken lines under chin and throat; dark spots on operculum and pectoral base, 12-14 along base of dorsal fin, 10 along base of anal.

Reaches 4 cm.

Lives in holes on coral patch reefs.

Depth range: 1-26 m, usually < 9 m.

The Bahamas to the S Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Barnacles & worm tubes
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • 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
  • 4
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 26