Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Serranidae (Sea basses: groupers and fairy basslets)

Genus/species: Hypoplectrus gummigutta

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Body rich chrome-yellow in color. The snout is black bordered by an iridescent blue. Pectoral fins pigmented. Hamlet “species” are defined primarily on differences in color patterns. They are known to interbreed and hybridize freely with very little consistent genetic differentiation amongst them.

Golden Hamlet19442208331_9807a11d99_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: H. gummigutta is rare and found in the Western Central Atlantic. It is coral reef associated.


No known major threat but juveniles are potentially a prey item of the invasive Lionfish.


Golden hamlet18815471474_4ab1413005_k

REPRODUCTION: The Golden Hamlet is a simultaneous hermaphrodite (possesses both male and female sex organs).  Successful spawning requires two individual fish.

Color of Life note: Brightly colored fish seem to jump into your sight. But underwater, these bright colors mingle with those of other fish, reef creatures, and the coral itself, to offer a mixtures of color and patterns in which no one individual stands out. Movement of the anemones and corals in the current also serve to obscure and protect the fish.
Ref: California Academy Academy of Sciences, Color of Life Exhibit 2015


Ron’s flickr

Ron’s WordPress shortlink

Reef (an excellent description of the Caribbean reef exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences).


IUCN Red List