Spiny Head Blenny Identification

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The spiny head blenny is a tiny fish that usually has only its head sticking out of its home. Identify the spiny head blenny by its yellow-green eyes with help from a scuba diving instructor in this free video on fish identification and marine life.

Part of the Video Series: Caribbean Fish
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Video Transcript

The marine organism we're going to identify now is the spiny head blenny. You have to look hard to see the spiny head blenny, as it's a tiny fish, and usually only has its head sticking out of its home. They have lots of little cere, or slender projections on the top of their head, but they are very difficult to see without some sort of magnifying device, such as a macro lens on a camera or a magnifying glass. The most obvious distinguishing characteristic of the spiny head blenny that differentiates it from other similar species are its yellow-green eyes, and those eyes are wacky. Each one rotates separately enabling the fish to look in two directions at once. Their body color is usually dark, black to brown to a dark green. Their face and mouth are usually white to a light yellow. As I said, they are very small, usually less than an inch and a quarter in length, and no bigger in diameter than a pencil. Spiny head blennies tend to inhabit abandoned tubeworm tubes, or pores in sponges, or other small holes. They live in these holes with just their head emerging from the opening while they watch for food particles to drift by in the water column. If they see something tasty, such as some small planktonic creature they will dart out of their hole to grab it, and then quickly return to the hole; reentering tail first. If they feel threatened they will quickly withdraw completely into their tube home. Spiny head blennies reproduce sexually and are egg layers. The eggs are laid inside the tube in which the fish lives, and are therefore, guarded until the young hatch. Spiny head blennies are common in most of the Caribbean, but not very common in the waters of Florida and The Bahamas. They are generally found at depths ranging from twenty feet to sixty feet, and often there will be a large number of blennies living in close proximity to one another. That's the spiny head blenny.


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