Emblemaria piratula Ginsburg & Reid, 1942
Pirate blenny
Emblemaria piratula
photo by Cox, C.D.

Family:  Chaenopsidae (Pike-, tube- and flagblennies)
Max. size:  5 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; marine; depth range 0 - 30 m
Distribution:  Western Central Atlantic: northeastern Gulf of Mexico in USA (Ref. 7251). Believed to have a continental distribution but has since been reported from Belize (provisional identification), Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands (Ref. 51183).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 17-20; Dorsal soft rays (total): 14-16; Anal spines: 2-2; Anal soft rays: 20-21; Vertebrae: 39-40. Species distinguished by: dorsal-fin spines 17 to 20; dorsal-fin rays 14 to 16; total dorsal-fin elements 30 to 38; anal-fin rays 20 or 21; vertebrae 39 or 40; pectoral-fin rays 13; 2 obvious segmented pelvic-fin rays (third ray vestigial or goes 5 or more times in length of longest); cirrus on eye arising from a single base, longer than eye diameter in males (and often in females); head smooth anteriorly, never spiny; tip of lower jaw not projecting beyond tip of upper jaw and without fleshy projection; no stripe or series of dark blotches on head and body; one row of teeth on each palatine bone. Common amongst Chaenopsids: small elongate fishes; largest species about 12 cm SL, most under 5 cm SL. Head usually with cirri or fleshy flaps on anterior nostrils, eyes, and sometimes laterally on nape; gill membranes continuous with each other across posteroventral surface of head. Each jaw with canine-like or incisor-like teeth anteriorly; teeth usually also present on vomer and often on palatines (roof of mouth). Dorsal-fin spines flexible, usually outnumbering the segmented soft rays, spinous and segmented-rayed portions forming a single, continuous fin; 2 flexible spines in anal fin; pelvic fins inserted anterior to position of pectoral fins, with 1 spine not visible externally and only 2 or 3 segmented (soft) rays; all fin rays, including caudal-fin rays, unbranched (simple). Lateral line absent. Scales absent (Ref.52855).
Biology:  Occurs from the shoreline to deep rocky and coral reefs (Ref. 9710).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 18 October 2007 Ref. (123251)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Froese, Rainer - 01.05.91
Modified by: McArthur, Jason - 23.01.14
Checked by: Torres, Armi G. - 26.08.94

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