Secretary Blenny Identification

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The secretary blenny is a tube-dwelling blenny that usually has a brown body with irregular, pale body bars. Look for the secretary blenny in dead coral areas 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 secretary blenny. Another of the tiny tube dwelling blennies is the secretary blenny. As with the other small blennies, you have to look hard to see it since it usually only has its head sticking out of its home. They have lots of little cirri 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 mackerel lens on a camera, or an magnifying glass. The most distinguishing characteristic of the secretary blenny that differentiates it from other similar species, is the white blotch that is found below and behind its eye. Their body color is usually brown with irregular pale body bars, and their dark bodies can have numerous white or light colored speckles. their head and mouth areas may be white or have a greenish cast. As I said, they are very small. Usually less than two inches in length, and no bigger in diameter than a pencil. Secretary blennies tend to inhabit holes in limestone slopes, such as dead coral areas. They live in these holes with just their heads emerging from the opening, while they watch for food particles to drift by in the water column. If they see something tasty, such as a small planktonic creature, they will dart out of their hole to grab it, and quickly return to the hole re entering tail first. If they feel threatened, they will quickly withdraw completely into their tiny cavern home. Secretary 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. Secretary blennies are seen occasionally around the Bahamas, and the rest of the Caribbean. But have not been recorded in the waters of Florida. They are generally found at depths ranging from six feet to twenty five feet, and often there will be large numbers of blennies living in close proximity to one another. That's the secretary blenny.


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