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Species: Acanthemblemaria harpeza, Thornybush Blenny

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

strong head spines, triangle of 7-10 behind eye
cirri: eye heavily branched, nasal - 6-11 branches
head & body: blue-white spots
lower head: dark, white stripe along lower midline
D XXI-XXII, fleshy flap at front with red spots, no dark blotch at front

Acanthemblemaria harpeza Williams, 2002

Thornybush Blenny

Body elongate; short blunt head; well developed, forward pointing sharp spines on snout and extending back to a triangular patch of 7-10 spines behind eye; multiple rows of well-developed teeth on side of roof of mouth; 1 pair of extensively branched cirri over eyes, each cirrus with up to 30 tips; nostrils with heavily branched (>6 and up to 11 tips) cirri; dorsal fin XXI (XXI-XXII), 14-15), fin with a well developed fleshy flap at front, a slight notch between spiny and soft parts; pelvics I (internal), 2-3, inserted before pectoral base; all fin rays unbranched; no lateral line; no scales.

Background of head and body with large yellow and blue blotches; head and most of body with small blue-white spots; lower head dark purple, with a white stripe along underside from tip of lower jaw almost to pelvics; iris with a red ring; dorsal fin with two red spots on front flap, no dark blotch at front of fin, a white stripe along outer edge of fin, inside which there is a yellow stripe; front 13-14 spines with blue spots; tail fin clear, with yellow spots; pelvics black, with white stripe.

Reaches 3.3 cm.

Lives in holes of undercut coralline rock bottoms.

Depth range: 0-5 m.

The Bahamas to the SW Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • 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)
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
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 3.3
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 5