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Species: Emblemaria pandionis, Sailfin Blenny

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snout blunt
eye cirrus short, 3 tips
male D: front sail, IV-VI highest, black + pale oblique bars, front base D blue spot
female D - oblique bars at front
female: back - pale saddles, flank - clusters spots

Emblemaria pandionis Evermann & Marsh, 1900

Sailfin Blenny

Body elongate; head short and blunt, with steep front profile; head without spines, 2 smooth longitudinal ridges on snout, no bony ridges between eyes; a groove bordered by fleshy ridges from between eyes to dorsal fin origin; nasal cirrus flat and branched; eye cirrus short, 3 short tips, that cirrus about equal to length of eye in male; 1 row of 10-12 teeth on each front-side of roof of mouth; dorsal fin XXI, 15-16, that of male much higher and sail-like at front, spines IV-VI longest, without a flap-like flag on base of 1st spine; anal fin II, 23-24; pelvics I (internal), inserted before pectoral base, longer than pectoral, with 3 obvious rays (3rd ray >1/4 length of longest ray); pectoral usually 13; all fin rays unbranched; no lateral line; no scales.

Male: tan, eye cirri barred, with 9-10 dark brown spots on flank, small brown spots on upper flank and dorsal fin base; dorsal fin with oblique brown bars at front; mating males black, except for soft dorsal and tail fin, usually a small blue spot on base of first dorsal spine, sometimes oblique pale bars on spiny dorsal, cheeks and lower head with blue white dots, a line of blue spots along base of anal fin. Female light tan, with ~13 brown blotches along flank, and the same number of ring-like marks along lower body profile, upper back with pale saddles; spiny dorsal tan with oblique brown bars, without an ocellus.

Reaches 7 cm.

Lives in worm tubes in sand and rubble bottoms.

Depth range: 1-35 m.

The Gulf of Mexico to the S 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
  • Omnivore
  • 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
  • 7
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 35