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Species: Acanthemblemaria spinosa, Spinyhead Blenny

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

spines short, sharp, snout to almost D
rear edge eye serrated
eye cirrus weakly branched
iris yellow, behind eye - dark blotch, lower head - white spots
male: black, snout & forehead white, white stripe on cheek

Acanthemblemaria spinosa Metzelaar, 1919

Spinyhead Blenny

Body elongate; short blunt head; short, pointed, forward pointing spines on snout and back almost to dorsal fin; lower edge of eye socket spiny, rear edge serrated; cirri on nostrils, over eyes (1 pair, weakly branched), but not on nape; multiple rows of well-developed teeth on side of roof of mouth; dorsal fin XX-XXII, 13-16, a notch between spiny and soft parts; pelvics I (internal), 2-3, inserted before pectoral base; all fin rays unbranched; no lateral line; no scales.

Variable; front of head greenish brown, rear dark brown with small white spots; iris yellow; a brownish blotch (bordered with a white oblique bar) behind eye; males may be nearly uniformly dark, snout and forehead white, to spotted with 8-12 small brown blotches along dorsal and anal fin bases and along mid-side.

Reaches 3.5 cm.

Lives in coral patches, often in worm tubes.

Depth range: 1-30 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
  • 3.5
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 30