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Species: Starksia splendens, Splendid-shy Blenny

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male: eye cirrus = large white ribbon
flank: 9 oval brown bars + 4 white blotches above
lower lips 3 black bars
Cayman Is

Starksia splendens Victor, 2018

Splendid-shy Blenny

Body elongate, compressed; bluntly pointed head; eye, nostril and nape cirri unbranched, short on nape; eye with slender, unbranched cirrus, < eye diameter long in female, wide, flat, long (to 2X eye) ribbon in male; gill rakers 3+9; dorsal fin XIX, 8-9, a notch between spines and rays; 1st anal spine of male long, free from rest of fin, modified as sexual organ, no ridge or fold along anal fin base; anal fin II, 17; pectorals 13; pelvic fins I (internal), 2, inserted before pectoral base; all fin rays unbranched; lateral line continuous, front section arched, rear section straight, 15 (14-15) + 21 (20-22) scales; body mostly scaled, including belly, but not head, nape around dorsal fin origin or pectoral base.

Head and body grey-brown; lower lip with 2 black bars before eye, 2nd bars continuous under chin, a 3rd bar under eye; eye cirrus of male white: lower rear corner of preoperculum of male with a large dark blotch, with a pale spot or narrow pale bar angled down from eye; body with about 9 oval brown bars along mid flank; upper back with 4 prominent white blotches between the dark body bars, last blotch on tail base with a black spot at front edge.

Reaches 2.2 cm.

Lives in live coral areas, usually on dropoffs.

Depth range: 5-15 m.

Currently known only from Grand Cayman

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Reef only
  • 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 worms
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Live birth
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Antilles endemic
  • Caribbean endemic
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • Island (s) only
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 2.2
Depth Range Min
  • 5
Depth Range Max
  • 15