Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Stathmonotus hemphillii, Blackbelly Blenny

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no cirri
male: red/black; cheek - white oval; D white bars
pectoral fin tiny, 4-5
no scales

Stathmonotus hemphillii Bean, 1885

Blackbelly Blenny

Elongate, worm-like body; short, bluntly pointed head; no cirri on nostrils, over eye, on nape or on preoperculum; large oblique mouth; teeth on front of roof of mouth; rear edge of preopercle covered with skin; dorsal fin composed entirely of spines, with many elements, XLV-LV; anal fin II, 23-29; dorsal and anal fins at most slightly joined to tail fin; pectoral fin tiny, with 4-5 weak rays; pelvics I (internal), 2-3, inserted before pectoral base; all fin rays unbranched; no scales; no lateral line.

Sexually dimorphic colors; variable in males with both dark and light morphs: pale morph may be colorless or with a network of pale spots on cheek and between eyes; dark morph with red to black body, a dark-edged white blotch on cheek, fins edges white, sometimes with white Vs of bars on dorsal and anal fins. Females without body pigment, with a network of 4-6 dark lines from eye down and sometimes up.

Reaches 5 cm.

Lives in hard substrata.

Depth range: 1-30 m, usually in shallow water.

SE Florida and the SW Gulf of Mexico, the Bahamas to the northern and western Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • 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
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 5
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 30