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Sparkly! A new species of triplefin blenny

By Leonard Ho - Posted Mar 16, 2017 09:00 AM
Helcogramma atauroensis is a new species of triplefin blenny from the Indian Ocean that packs a lot of colors - almost like a galaxy of stars - into its tiny frame.
Sparkly!  A new species of triplefin blenny

Helcogramma atauroensis, fresh photograph, male, Fatuu, Ataúro Island, Timor-Leste (M.V. Erdmann)

Triplefin blennies are described for their three distinctly separated dorsal fins, which can be clearly seen in the photograph above.  There are now forty recongized species of Helcogramma triplefins.

Helcogramma atauroensis is described from Ataúro Island, Timor-Leste, eastern Indian Ocean in the latest publication of the Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation.  This blenny is found in very shallow waters (3 meters).  While conspicuously colored, it is very tiny (3 cm/1 inch) and camouflages very well with the flora and fauna of shallow reefs, as seen below.


Helcogramma atauroensis, underwater photograph of male in typical habitat at type location, Fatuu, Ataúro Island, Timor-Leste (M.V. Erdmann)

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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