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Scuba Diving Tips: Caribbean Fish Identification : How to Identify Butter Hamlet Fish

Scuba Diving Tips: Caribbean Fish Identification : How to Identify Butter Hamlet Fish


The fish that we are going to identify now
is the Butter Hamlet. The hamlets are a group of small fishes, about three to five inches
in length, which is surrounded by scientific controversy. There is an ongoing debate about
whether or not there is one species of hamlet, with multiple color varieties, or whether
each of the multiple color varieties represents a unique species. Since the Butter Hamlet
has been give a distinctive genus and species designation, we will treat it as a unique
fish. The Butter Hamlet is very pale colored, a grayish-white to light yellow. It often
has light blue squiggly lines on it’s head and gill cover and a black spot on it’s nose
outlined in blue. But the really distinctive feature identifying the Butter Hamlet is the
dark satellite patch on the base of it’s tail. Butter Hamlets are fairly common around Florida,
but a lot less common in other areas around the Caribbean. Butter Hamlets range in size
from three to five inches in length. Butter Hamlets generally stay near the bottom, and
usually have a well defined territory that they stay within. This makes them easy to
find if you return to the same snorkeler or dive site. Butter Hamlets are fairly shy and
can be difficult for divers or snorkelers to get close to. That’s the Butter Hamlet.

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