Elacatinus horsti Metzelaar 1922

photo by Dean Thorsen

IDENTIFICATION

Head Pores - Cephalic canal system with pores B',C,D,E,F,H' and preopercle pores M',N'

Scales - No scales present

Fins - D1 - VII, no spines elongate; D2 - 12(12-13); pectoral 18(17-19); anal - 10-12; pelvic fin extending 3/4 distance to anus, frenum present and well developed;

Head - Maxilla extending to posterior of eye; tongue truncate; anterior nostril a low tube, posterior a raised rim; interorbital slightly larger than pupil diameter; teeth in upper jaw in 2-4 rows, outer short, ending in 2 enlarged recurved fangs, inner with 2-3 large recurved fangs, at mid-anterior of maxilla, anterior teeth all small - outer row only enlarged posteriorlly when canines appear; teeth in lower jaw in 7-8 rows of small teeth, 2 canines on each side, anterior one large, posterior small, near front of dentary; all teeth small and numerous except for the 2 canines on inner anterior row

Papillae - A transverse pattern with three reduced vertical rows before row b and row 5i located at the anterior of row b

Color - Yellow form: Bright yellow lateral stripe from eye to the caudal peduncle. Both populations are the same for this character. A few specimens from Curacao and Bonaire (southern population) had a yellow spot or streak on the snout. (Not visible in preserved specimens). None of the northern specimens show this spot. Juveniles do not have a fully developed stripe. It ends just past the pectoral fin base. They can be confused with G. chancei, but in chancei the stripe ends at the pectoral fin base.

White form: Brilliant white stripe from the eys to about the pectoral fin base, posteriorly it becomes bluish-white and ends slightly on the caudal fin (Colin - 73)

Distribution - Exxuma Cays (Bahamas), Grand Cayman Is, Haiti, Curacao, eastern Gulf of Mexico, SW Tampa Bay FL

Habitat - Found in both tubular sponges like Verongia spp and massive sponges like the barrel sponges Neofibrularia massa; Found from 1 - 40 meters

Notes - White form from British Honduras does not agree with the color pattern, they have a medial bar on the snout which other populations of the white form do not possess.