Helcogramma ellioti (Herre, 1944)
Helcogramma ellioti
photo by Randall, J.E.

Family:  Tripterygiidae (Triplefin blennies), subfamily: Tripterygiinae
Max. size:  5.7 cm SL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  demersal; depth range 2 - 10 m
Distribution:  Indo-Pacific: widely distributed. The species complex is being revised by J.T. Williams.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 16-16; Dorsal soft rays (total): 9-10; Anal spines: 1-1; Anal soft rays: 18-20; Vertebrae: 34-35. Diagnosis: Dorsal fin III + XIII+ 9-10, second fin same height of first; anal fin I + 18; pectoral rays 16 (1+8+7); pelvic fin I, 2, spine short and hidden, segmented rays simple, partially united by membrane. Vertebrae 10 + 24-25. LL total lateral scales 36-38, pored series 33-37 (21) scales; nape, belly, and anal-fin base scaleless, caudal fin base with only 1 row of scales. Mandibular pores 5-7+3-5+5-7. Orbital cirrus flat and palmate. Head length 3.5 in SL; eye 2.8; maxilla 2.3 in HL. Male head dark brown on top, reddish above eye, black and blue below, with narrow stripe from maxilla to preopercle; body brownish grey with 3 pale saddles; belly pink. Female head white with red and brown spots below, shading darker and with brown blotches above, with brown stripe from upper lip to corner of eye; body white with brown oblique semi-bars and blotches on dorsal half of side (Ref. 75031). Males distinctly colored during courtship, but look drab at other times (Ref. 48636).
Biology:  Adults inhabit rocky boulders from depths of 2 to 5 m, common at depths less than 10 m (Ref. 6211). They live in small groups, each comprising a male and several females (Ref. 48636) on rock surfaces and under ledges and tidepools (Ref. 75031). Eggs are hemispherical and covered with numerous sticky threads that anchor them in the algae on the nesting sites (Ref. 240). Larvae are planktonic which occur primarily in shallow, nearshore waters (Ref. 94114).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 07 May 2010 Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:  Museum: USNM 198966.

Entered by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 27.10.93
Modified by: Luna, Susan M. - 21.03.14

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