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I caught this a little while ago, but I never mentioned it to anyone because I figured someone else had seen this fish before, and also I figured I'd just catch one again. Well, since that first one I caught I haven't seen another, nor does anyone know the name of this fish. Caught in a castnet and released. Location was Ocean Springs Front Beach Mississippi near a rock jetty.


http://instagram.com/p/MhCRenQeMr/ <- link to see a photo


Please help me identify this fish!
 

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Well, this fish had very very small scales, almost like it didn't have any. It felt like an eel, or catfish. Very slimy and not rough at all. Sort of like the underside of a flounder. Do wrasse normally feel that way?
 

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Blenny.
 

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I think this is a type of blenny, just not the kind we are used to seeing. I think this is a malacoctenus species. Notice the two small thin fins in front of the downward pointing pectoral fins. The downward pointing pecs and those other fins are indicative of a fish that rests on bottom and props itself up, unlike a wrasse.

i found several images of these species. At least three types are in Florida. none looked identical in coloration, but body shape and fins all fit. Try doing an image search for Malacoctenus aurolineatus, Malacoctenus triangulatus, and Malacoctenus macropus. you will see when you search that the colors vary widely within the same species.

That is my guess anyway.
Fisherdad1
 

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of course, there is a chance that this could be a Malacoctenus "dominci" if you found a new species and choose to name it after yourself ;)
 

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yup. you nailed it. Striped blenny. who would have guessed. The stripes should have been a clue when I was searching.
 

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Thanks a bunch! I did a little research on this species and it seems like not very much is known about this species of Blenny. I'm not sure if it is rare or not, but I can't find a whole lot on it. Also, mine slightly varies from the others. The shape of the head looks more narrow, sort of like a grouper in a way. The others are kind of rounder, and not as narrow. I would like to also add that they are very aggressive with a strong bite for its size!
 

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That's a purty little critter....been a gooden in an aquarium!!!
 
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Discussion Starter #17
Fish Identified!

I did a little more research and contacted a few more people, I spoke to Jess Beck ( Regional Aquaculture Coordinator NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office) and a 2 people from the University of Southern Miss. who run and work with the Gulf Coast Research Lab down here and they have confirmed that the little fish is a Florida Blenny (Chasmodes saburrae)


Mine was a male, notice the bright colors, stripes, and variation of spots and such on it? Also the males are very territorial and can bite pretty hard! Very interesting fish, and very cool to keep in an aquarium. Thanks to all who put in their input!
 
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