Roughhead Blenny Identification

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The roughhead blenny has a lot of slender projections on the top of its head that are difficult to see without a magnifying glass. Distinguish the roughhead blenny from other blennies by its orange irises 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 are going to identify now is a Roughhead Blenny. There are several different species of tiny Blennies that live in abandoned tube worm tubes or other holes in the reef structure and the Roughhead Blenny is one of them. You have to look hard to see the Roughhead Blenny as it usually only has it's head sticking out of it's home. They have lots of little seri or slender projections on the top of their head but these are very difficult to see without some sort of magnifying device such as a mackerel lens on a camera or a magnifying glass. The most obvious distinguishing characteristic of the Roughhead Blenny that differentiates it from other similar species such as the Spiny Head Blenny are the orange irises of it's eye. Their body color can vary a great detail ranging from a light tan to a dark brown to yellow, and it's often lighter towards the tail. They have brown and white speckles on their heads and bodies. Males have a dark spot outlined in white on the forward part of their dorsal fins. Females are generally lighter in color. Some nearly white. The one in this clip is likely a female. As I said they're very small. Usually less then an inch and a half in length and no bigger in diameter then a pencil. Roughhead Blennies are almost always found in holes in coral reefs. 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. They feed primarily on arthropods and copapods. If they see something tasty they dart out of their holes to grab it and quickly return to the hole, reentering tail first. If they feel threatened they will quickly withdraw completely into their tube home. Roughhead Blenny reproduce sexually and are egg layers. The eggs are laid inside the tube in which the fish lives and are guarded by the male until the young hatch. Roughhead Blennies are seen occasionally throughout the tropical waters of Florida and the Bahamas as well as the rest of the Caribbean. They are generally found at depths ranging from twenty feet to sixty feet and often they will be large numbers of Blennies living in close proximity to one another. That's the Roughhead Blenny.

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