A hamlet is a fish of the genus Hypoplectrus that is found mainly in coral reefs in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, particularly around Florida and the Bahamas. They are a popular choice for hobbyist saltwater aquariums, and come in a variety of colors. There are eleven described species.
- Hypoplectrus aberrans Poey, 1868 – vaca de vientre amarillo, yellowbelly hamlet
- Hypoplectrus chlorurus (Cuvier in Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1828) – vaca de cola amarilla, yellowtail hamlet
- Hypoplectrus gemma Goode and Bean, 1882 – blue hamlet
- Hypoplectrus gummigutta (Poey, 1851)
- Hypoplectrus guttavarius (Poey, 1852) – golden hamlet, shy hamlet
- Hypoplectrus indigo (Poey, 1851) – indigo hamlet, vaca añil
- Hypoplectrus lamprurus (Jordan and Gilbert, 1882)
- Hypoplectrus nigricans (Poey, 1852) – black hamlet, mero carbonero
- Hypoplectrus providencianus (Acero P. and Garzón-Ferreira, 1994) - masked hamlet
- Hypoplectrus puella (Cuvier in Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1828) – barred hamlet, mero barril, vaca barreada
- Hypoplectrus unicolor (Walbaum, 1792) – butter hamlet, mero mantequilla
Hamlets are simultaneous hermaphrodites (or synchronous hermaphrodites): They have both male and female sexual organs at the same time as an adult. They seem quite at ease mating in front of divers, allowing observations in the wild to occur readily. They do not practice self-fertilization, but when they find a mate, the pair takes turns between which one acts as the male and which acts as the female through multiple matings, usually over the course of several nights. Hamlets preferentially mate with individuals of their same color pattern.
- "Hypoplectrus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 6 June 2006.
- Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2006). Species of Hypoplectrus in FishBase. March 2006 version.
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