Hypoplectrus floridae

Common Name

Florida Hamlet

Year Described

Victor, 2012


Dorsal Fin: X, 14
Anal Fin: III, 7
Pectoral Fin: 13-14
Pelvic Fin: I, 5
Lateral Line: 52
Gill Rakers: 5-7 (upper), 11-14 (lower) on first arch, 16-21 total


Body whitish grading to yellow ventrally. Pattern very close to H. puella in having multiple brown body bands. The dominant band is the second mid-body one which is very wide and dark. The first band runs behind the opercle. The third band is often broken into two brown blotches and is often connected dorsally to the fourth band. The fifth band is on the caudal peduncle. There are two symmetric black spots on the posterior caudal peduncle that remain even in adult fish. The brown band under the eye is heavily infused with yellow, giving it an orange color. There are numerous pale blue lines and spots on the head (often faint). The fins are finely lined with bluish and brown and have narrow blue borders. The pelvic fins are golden to reddish brown, with a blue anterior margin.


Type specimens between 30-40mm SL, but larger adults probably to 80-90mm SL.


Shallow water on coral and rocky reefs.


Known from the eastern Gulf of Mexico to S. Florida.


Victor, B.C. 2012. Hypoplectrus floridae n. sp. and Hypoplectrus ecosur n. sp., two new barred hamlets from the Gulf of Mexico (Pisces: Serranidae): more than 3% different in COI mtDNA sequence from the Caribbean Hypoplectrus species flock. Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation v. 5: 1-19.

Other Notes

Victor (2012) states: “The H. floridae clade differs from the Caribbean clade by 3.76% on average (SE=0.002; minimum distance of 3.39% and maximum distance of 4.37%). The H. ecosur clade differs from the Caribbean clade by 3.23% on average (SE=0.008; minimum distance of 3.0% and maximum distance of 3.83%). The H. floridae and H. ecosur clades differ by 1.41% on average (SE=0.011; minimum distance of 1.24% and maximum distance of 1.72%)”. The clade of H. ecosur and H. floridae is distinct from the clade containing the other Hypoplectrus species according to mitochondrial evidence (CO1 gene), and the two are more distinct from each other than any of the studied Caribbean species are to each other.

More study with complete taxon sampling, many specimens from all over the Caribbean, and for multiple genes are required to determine just how many “species” of Hypoplectrus actually occur in the Caribbean Sea. The species are morphologically almost identical, and have weak genetic signatures indicating a recent radiation.