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Species: Acanthemblemaria medusa, Medusa Blenny

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head spines: short, pointed; snout to behind eye; 2 clusters 3-5 behind eyes, each with long slender papilla
cirri: eye heavily branched,nasal 2-3 tips
dark spot behind eye
D XXI-XXIII, front flap, front 1/2 brown + elongate black blotch
center top lip - 1 papilla

Acanthemblemaria medusa Smith-Vaniz & Palacio, 1974

Medusa Blenny

Body elongate; short blunt head; short pointed spines from snout to a little behind eye, 2 clusters of 3-5 spines behind eyes, each spine covered with a long papilla; a single central papilla above top lip; cirri with 2-3 tips on nostrils, over eyes (1 pair, large and complexly branched), but not on nape; multiple rows of well-developed teeth on side of roof of mouth; dorsal fin XXI-XXIII, 15-17, front of fin with prominent flap, no notch between spiny and soft parts; anal fin II, 25-27; pelvics I (internal), 2-3, inserted before pectoral base; all fin rays unbranched; no lateral line; no scales.

Body brown with faint blotches along bases of median fins and mid-flank; a pupil-sized dark spot behind eye, often with a pale area below it; dense small whitish spots on lower cheek, throat and pectoral base; front ½ of dorsal fin brown, with pale edge, a dark blotch between spines II-VI.

Reaches 4 cm.

Lives in holes in rocky areas with sand bottoms and little coral.

Depth range: 1-5 m.

E to SE Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Barnacles & worm tubes
  • Bivalves & sea cucumbers
  • 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)
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Caribbean endemic
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 4
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 5