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Species: Emblemaria caldwelli, Caribbean Blenny

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

male D: spine I longest, I-III - > high triangle
both sexes: head orange + black dots; front D dark; male 4 white stripes
female D: 2nd spine longest

Emblemaria caldwelli Stephens, 1970

Caribbean Blenny

Body elongate; head short and blunt, without spines; 2 smooth longitudinal ridges on snout; cirrus at nostril simple but long; 1 unbranched, long (~twice length of nasal cirrus) flap-like cirrus over eye; 1 row of 9-12 teeth on each side of roof of mouth; dorsal fin XXI-XXIII, 13-15, no gap between spines III-IV, first 3 spines of male elevated in a triangular point but not sail-like, 1st spine longest in male (2nd spine longest in female); anal fin II, 22-23; pelvics I (internal), inserted before pectoral base, longer than pectoral, with 2 obvious rays (3rd ray vestigial or <1/5 length of longest ray); pectoral 14; all fin rays unbranched; no lateral line; no scales.

Male: Head rust, peppered with black; 4 yellow spots along rear edge of preopercle; iris yellow-red; body cream, peppered with black; a row of colorless spots along mid-flank, another row above that; tail fin base clear, outer part black; raised front of dorsal fin black, first spine with 4 white stripes, rear of fin peppered with black. Female: head yellowish orange, peppered with black; jaws white, mottled with brown; iris red; belly red brown, body above cream with dark dots and orange spots; rear body translucent; tail fin clear; front of dorsal fin black, except for cream on bases of membranes, rear of fin clear with pink bars on rays.

Reaches 3.1 cm.

Lives on sand and pebble bottoms below dropoffs.

Depth range: 7-45 m, usually below 15 m.

The Bahamas to the central Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Barnacles & worm tubes
  • 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)
  • Continental primarily
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 3.1
Depth Range Min
  • 7
Depth Range Max
  • 45