Barred hamlet fish can be found throughout the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, where they spend their time in the crevices of rocky and coral reefs.
Adult barred hamlets are three to five inches in length, and their prey includes smaller fish, shrimp and small crabs. It’s not hard to see where barred hamlets get their name—they have several brown bars running vertically along their body, which ranges in color from pale white to yellow and includes blue highlights.
The barred hamlet is one of 17 species of hamlet fish, which are all simultaneous hermaphrodites—in other words, they possess both male and female reproductive organs. Hamlet fish are one of the few species of fish—and vertebrates in general—that can be male and female at the same time. In fact, hamlet fish will take turns acting as the male and as the female when mating!
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