Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Emblemaria nivipes, White-back signal-blenny

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snout: 2 smooth ridges
eye cirrus - several branches
male: dark, white back, dense brown spots; D (no flaps) blue lines + white spots
female D: 1st spine long, large ocellus + orange spots
A 23-24

Emblemaria nivipes Jordan & Gilbert, 1883

White-back signal-blenny

Body elongate; head short and blunt; head without spines; 2 smooth longitudinal ridges on snout; cirrus above eye often with filamentous branches, but may also be simple, or with tiny end branches; 1 row of teeth on each side of roof of mouth; dorsal fin XXII, 13-14, male with large, sail-like front of dorsal fin, 1st  spine without skin flaps at front; 1st  dorsal spine elevated in female, about twice length of 2nd; anal rays II, 23-24; pectoral rays 14-15; pelvic fin longer than pectoral.

Males dark brown with pronounced white back; back with numerous small brown spots; a row of white spots and streaks along the flank; dorsal fin with oblique blue lines and blue and white spots; females overall whitish; upper body and head with numerous small brown spots; a midlateral row of rectangular orange-centered brown blotches; head and belly with orange bars and spots; dorsal fin with a large, orange-ringed ocellus near front.

Size: grows to 4.2 cm.

Inhabits empty mollusc tubes on sand-rubble bottoms.

Depth: 5-30 m.  

Isla del Coco and Panama to Colombia.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Barnacles & worm tubes
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Benthic
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • All species
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Island (s)
  • TEP endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Data deficient
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 4.2
Depth Range Min
  • 5
Depth Range Max
  • 30