Barred hamlet

December 7, 2011, 12:59 pm
Content Cover Image

Barred hamlet. Photo from lazlo-photos. flicker.com

The barred hamlet (scientific name: Hypoplectrus puella) is a member of the grouper/seabass family (Family Serranidae) that lives on coral reefs in the Western Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.


caption Barred hamlet. Source: John E. Randall/Fishbase


Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia (Animals)
Phylum:--- Chordata
Class:------ Osteichthyes (Bony Fishes)
Order:-------- Perciformes
Family:-------- Serranidae (Groupers/seabasses)
Species:--------- Hypoplectrus puella (Cuvier, 1828)

Physical Description

Barred hamlets range from nine to 15 centimeters in length.  They have a light background with a large v-shaped bar on their midbody and a series of blue vertical lines on their heads.


This species is found in the tropical Western Atlantic in Bermuda, the eastern Gulf of Mexico, and throughout the Caribbean Sea .


Barred hamlets live on coral reefs at depths from three to 23 meters.

Feeding Behavior

H. puella is a generalist carnivore who feeds on shrimps, crabs, mantid shrimps and small fishes. 


Barred hamlets are solitary species that spend most of their time hunting alone in defended home ranges.


Reproduction in barred hamlets takes place year around.  They are simultaneous hermaphrodites which means that they can be reproduce as males and females at the same time.  Before sunset, the fish leave their home ranges to search for mates.  After finding a potential mate, one of the hamlets acts as females and the other acts as a male.  They release gametes into the water column during a three second “mating clasp”. After 15 minutes or so, the fish repeat the process but with each individual switching sex roles. Eggs are fertilized in the water column. After the eggs hatch, the larvae enter the pelagic stage until they settle back on the reef.

Conservation Status

The barred hamlet is not considered to be a species at risk.

Refences and Further Reading

  • Encyclopedia of Life. Curator: C.Michael Hogan. 2011. Hypoplectrus puella (Cuvier, 1828)
  • P.Humann and N.Deloach. 2010. Hamlets. New World Publications
  • P.Humann and N.Deloach (Ed.) 1994. Reef Fish Identification: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas. New World Publications, Inc. Jacksonville, FL. ISBN: 1878348078
  • N.Deloach. 1999. Reef Fish Behavior, Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas. New World Publications, Inc. Jacksonville, FL. ISBN: 1878348280


McGinley, M. (2011). Barred hamlet. Retrieved from http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/150428


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