Volume 5    Number 9

Tiny Spinyheaded Blenny among Button Tunicates
near San Salvador in The Bahamas

Tiny Spinyheaded Blenny among Button Tunicates near San Salvador

The Spinyheaded Blenny is so small it could live inside of a soda straw. That is almost what it does, living inside this tiny tunnel at the edge of a Coralhead of Star Corals.

This Spinyheaded Blenny was barely 1 inch long. It was living inside a tube at the edge of the living Star Corals on the coralhead. Each of the Star Corals in this picture is a circle of tiny towers that looks like a castle with the coral polyp in the center. Each of these little castles was about the size of a dime.

We watched this Spinyheaded Blenny for several minutes. It would perch at the opening of its tunnel, and then suddenly dart into the water with its mouth wide open to catch a tiny plankton as it floated by in the current. Then, just as fast, it would back up into its tunnel to wait for the next morsel to float by.

There are several Orange Button Tunicates in this picture. Each Button Tunicate looks like a hollow orange ball with a big opening on one side. These buttons are actually colonies of several orange animals. Tunicates are primitive animals with simple body constructions. Compare the Button Tunicates with the Pelagic Tunicate on the ReefNews website (one of the very first pictures ever on the ReefNews website, see how much better our photos have become!).

  This picture first appeared on the ReefNews CD-ROM, "San Salvador: Jewel of the New World." Order your own copy of this educational CD-ROM from the ReefNews Online Catalog.



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