One of the smallest fish you are likely to see when diving in the Caribbean, the Spinyhead Blenny (Acanthemblemaria spinosa) spends most of its time timidly peering out from its burrow with its large nervous-looking eyes, hoping to grab a passing morsel to eat as it floats past in the water. If feeling very brave, they will even dart out of their burrows and quickly snap up these particles before retreating back to safety. These burrows are not made by the Spinyhead Blenny itself, but are instead left behind worm holes in the limestone rock. Sadly, these cute little fish are so cryptic they are usually overlooked by underwater visitors, so if you go down there, remember to pay close attention to all the detail and not just look at all the big stuff!
There are a number of similar looking species, including the Roughhead Blenny (Acanthemblemaria aspera) and the Secretary Blenny (Acanthemblemaria maria), but differences are seen between species in terms of eye size and colour, head and body colour (although a lot of variety exists within species) and amount of cirri present on the head. The best way to confirm ID is to take a quick photograph of the blenny in question and examine it closely with your favourite ID book when you get back to land.
About Reef Creature Clothing
We specialise in coral reef inspired clothing. You can also find limited edition printed products featuring some of our most popular designs. We donate 5% of our profits to conservation projects that help protect reef creatures around the globe. Currently we are supporting the Anguilla National Trust, who do vital conservation work on the small island of Anguilla, British West Indies where the majority of our images were taken. To help you learn more about these fascinating reef creatures many of them will have featured posts over the coming months. Watch this space!