Barred Hamlet (Hypoplectrus puella)
Another colorful group of fish on Caribbean reefs is the Hamlets, members of the Sea Bass family. Ranging from 3 to 4 inches in size, the Barred Hamlet is distinguished by the brown body bars on a background of white to yellow. Bright iridescent blue lines and spots on the head and forebody make this fish stand out. They swim close to the reef, giving them the ability to dart into holes and recesses when a predator approaches. Hamlets are simultaneous hermaphrodites, meaning they have both male and female reproductive organs and can use them interchangeably. They trade roles in the mating behavior around dusk each day. See the e-book.