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Saltwater Aquarium/Fish identification?


Hi, I just spent a week in Kauai, and saw a fish while snorkeling that I have been having trouble identifying. As near as I can tell, it was some kind of hawkfish, given its general shape (or maybe some kind of blenny, but its body wasn't elongated). It was approximately the size of my hand/a small triggerfish, had cirri (I think? I am not very familiar with fish terminology) between its eyes, which were not fringed, and most notably it had eyes that were yellow with black crosses through them. I don't remember much about the rest of its coloring, unfortunately. I think the head was primarily black, and I think the only other colors on it were yellows and blues. I don't remember it being spotted, but it may well have been. The tail was maybe truncated, with black spines and the rest was essentially clear.

Hi Sarah:

Perhaps it could be a Blenny fish, maybe it could have been a species of black Blenny (Hypsoblennius exstochilus), there are some species that have yet to be identified in the marine aquarium hobby.

I would be able to help more with a picture.

Thanks and take care.


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David Ocreef


Technical saltwater coral reef related aquarium questions are welcome. Coral, invertebrate, and peaceful species of saltwater fish questions are welcome. Questions asked on Saturday and Sunday will be answered the following Monday. REMINDER: Please check the answers pool to see if your question has already been asked and answered. Questions typically are answered within a 48 hour period, however sometimes it may take longer.


I possess over twenty-five years of hands-on experience and knowledge in the ecology of aquariums. Beyond the traditional, I have successfully tested and sustained environments that have been uncharted territories for hobbyists, for decades. I am the first to admit I don't know it all because there will always be something new, amazing, and exciting to learn about, as discoveries are made. It's a hobby one can never outgrow, or grow tired of.

MASNA - Marine Aquarium Society of North America. Director of Orange County Reef Aquatics -

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After High School, my experience and love of marine animals influenced me to take up studies in Marine Biology. Throughout college, I studied Microbiology with an emphasis on Marine Life, as well as numerous other sciences. I continued to advance in this hobby, by building a dozen or more saltwater ecosystems all utilizing Microbes as the major source of my filtration method.

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