Masquerader hairy blenny gets name

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Brazilian ichthyologists have described a new species of scaly blenny from the Fernando de Noronha Archipelago off northeastern Brazil.

Ivan Sazima and coauthors name the species Labrisomus conditus, or the Masquerader hairy blenny, in a recent issue of the journal Zootaxa.

It can be told apart from other Labrisomus by the short projections on the nape that do not reach the dorsal-fin origin when depressed, 68 to 73 lateral line scales, first and second dorsal-fin spines slightly shorter than the third spine and not flexible, numerous pale dots over the head and body (which are light blue in life), and a dark spot on the opecle with an incomplete and diffuse broad pale margin (which is orange in life).

This species is named after the fact that it is often misidentified as L. nuchipinnis (Latin conditus=hidden).

The new species is a territorial bottom-dweller in rocky shores and can be found among algae and in crevices at depths from 0.5 to 6 m. Females and juveniles dwell most often on sandy areas near rocks.

The Masquerader hairy blenny feeds mostly on crustaceans (crabs, amphipods) and molluscs (snails, bivalves).

For more information, see the paper: Sazima, I, A Carvalho-Filho, JL Gasparini and C Sazima (2009) A new species of scaly blenny of the genus Labrisomus (Actinopterygii: Labrisomidae) from the tropical West Atlantic. Zootaxa, 2015, pp. 62"68.