Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes/Serranoidei
(Groupers) > Serranidae
(Sea basses: groupers and fairy basslets) > Serraninae
Etymology: Hypoplectrus: Greek, hypo = under + Greek, plektron = sting, spur (Ref. 45335); maya: Named with the dual purpose to honor the Maya people of Belize and the author’s
daughter, Maya Rose Lobel.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; reef-associated. Tropical
Caribbean Sea: Pelican Cays, Belize (Ref. 88139).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 8.7 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 88139)
Morphology | Morphometrics
soft rays: 6 - 7;
Vertebrae: 23. This species is distinguished from its congeners by the solid deep iridescent blue color and lack of black margins on fins. It is similarly colored as the blue hamlet, H. gemma, from Florida and the Yucatan; it is only distinguished by having dark black upper and lower margins on the caudal fin (Ref. 88139).
This species is often found among the mangrove roots that grow over shallow seagrass
beds. The colors of H. maya and the tunicate, Clavelina puerto-secensis, (growing on mangrove roots) are quite similar and perhaps this hamlet has evolved camouflage coloration against this tunicate. It has also been observed on several occasions that this species attacks small silversides (Jenkinsia lamprotaenia) which form diurnal aggregations among the mangrove roots (Ref. 88139).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Lobel, P.S., 2011. A review of the Caribbean hamlets (Serranidae, Hypoplectrus) with description of two new species. Zootaxa 3096:1-17. (Ref. 88139)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
Endangered (EN) (B1ab(i,ii,iii)+2ab(i,ii,iii)); Date assessed: 07 January 2020
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01778 (0.00680 - 0.04650), b=3.03 (2.80 - 3.26), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.7 ±0.4 se; based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months ().
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (15 of 100) .