Elacatinus randalli Bohlke & Robins 1968

photo by J. Van Tassell - Curacao

IDENTIFICATION

Head Pores -

Scales - No scales

Fins - D1 - VII, no elements elongate; D2 - 12(11-12); pectoral 17(16-18); anal 11(10-11)

Head - Tongue short and broad, with tip truncate or slightly emarginate. Males with a row of four or five enlarged, recurved canines in outer row of upper jaw, posterior ones largest, and with two large recurved canines in inner row of lower jaw. Females without large recurved teeth in either jaw.

Papillae - A transverse patterns with row 5i/6i at the anterior of row b; vertical rows under the eye short and not extending below the level of row d.

Color - Brightly colored, the mid-rostral bar and the postocular stripe being bright yellow. The yellow postocular stripe is narrow, at its widest point narrower than the pupil. The black lateral stripe is intense and placed high on the body, most of its width being above the lateral septum except posteriorly on the peduncle. The infraorbital and lateral canal pores are placed centrally in the black postocular stripe and the postocular pore in the supraorbital canal is at its upper border, but usually mostly in the yellow stripe. Th entire lower portion of the fish, including the area along the anal fin base and the lower portion of the caudal peduncle, is pale. The mid-dorsal black stripe is divided by the pale dorsal fins and anteriorly by a pale stripe (not yellow) that extends forward only to the occiput, the two halves of the black stripe broadly united on the top of the head. In males the mid-dorsal dark stripe narrows anddrops down on the caudal fin to join the lateral black stripe. In females the two approach each other but do not join. Females are paler around the mid-rostral yellow stripe, the melanophores scattered. Males usually have this area black, the upper lip dusky. In life the females have the uppe half of the iris, the entire snout, the oral edge of the upper lip and the chin bright yellow, the mid-rostral bar still identifiable. Some specimens have the area below the black lateral stripe and the middorsal pale area bluish in life and the fins pale bluish. The black lateral stripe is wedge-shaped on the caudal fin, usually but not always reaching to the margin of the fin. Some variation exists and more work is needed. Colin 73 did not observe a dark snout in males. (B&R 68)

Distribution - The islands off Venezuela (Curacao, Bonaire, Gran Roque, Cubagua), the coast of Venezuela near Cumana, St. Vincent, Dominica, and Puerto Rico. Only a single specimen from Puerto Rico exists and was collected at a relatively great depth of 53 meters.

Habitat - Dwells on living coral and is a cleaner

Notes -