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Species: Acanthemblemaria stephensi, Malpelo barnacle-blenny

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head very spiny
eye cirrus simple
male: head black + forehead & lips red, front D red & black
body: blue dots + red & white blotches

Acanthemblemaria stephensi Rosenblatt & McCosker, 1988

Malpelo barnacle-blenny

Body elongate; short blunt head; bony spines on head well developed forming diamond-shaped patch above eye; spines and bony knobs also present between eyes and on snout; cirri on nostrils, over eyes (1 pair, unbranched), but not on nape; 2 rows of well-developed teeth on side of roof of mouth; dorsal XXIII-XXV, 12-14; anal II, 24-27; pectoral 13.

Translucent blue grey with bright red bars on lower half of body and corresponding diffuse red spots or blotches on upper half; a midlateral row of horizontally elongate white marks; head and body covered with numerous small, light blue spots; males with dark bluish black head, a bright red anterior dorsal fin with a black spot, red lips and cirri.

Size: reaches 5 cm.

Inhabits empty barnacles and worm or mollusc tubes on rocky reefs.

Depth: 0-10 m.

Known only from Isla Malpelo.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Rocks
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Barnacles & worm tubes
  • Reef only
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Planktivore
  • No Data
  • Pelagic fish eggs
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Benthic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Malpelo Island endemic
  • Island (s) only
  • TEP oceanic island (s) endemic
  • TEP endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Vulnerable
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 5
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 10