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 not only coral reef inspired athleisure wear, but also beach & swim wear, and other printed products. All our colourful and vibrant designs are made using digitally enhanced prints of real underwater photographs taken in the Caribbean. We donate all of our profits after costs to The Coral Reef Research Hub, a small non-profit organisation that seeks to help fund research projects undertaken by early career coral reef scientists. The projects funded are those that aim to contribute information that will hopefully lead to legislative change, and thus help to protect coral reefs and their associated resources for generations to come!
We write these regular ‘creature features’ to help you learn more about the fascinating inhabitants of the coral reefs where our images came from. More will continue to be posted over the coming months so watch this space!