75 photos 40 species


Introduction


 There are over 50 genera with over 350 species.

Blennies get their name from their mostly scaleless skin with a layer of mucus.

Most of them are territorial bottom dwellers that lay their eggs in crevices, under stones and in empty mussel shells, which are often guarded by the male or both parents.

The largest species reaches a maximum length of 53 cm, but most species remain below 15 cm.


 Acanthemblemaria aspera

Roughhead blenny

Maximum length: 4 cm

Depth: 6 - 20 metres

Above the eyes they have tentacles that are densely branched and antler-shaped.

Different colours possible.

Inhabits small wormholes in which it lies with its head protruding and then shoots out for fractions of a second to catch food.

Not shy, only withdraws into its hole when harassed.

Photos 1 - 3 Johnny: Bonaire Caribbean


Acanthemblemaria maria

Secretary blenny

 Maximum length: 5 cm

Depth: 6 - 20 m

Black to brown body with small white spots, brown and pale horizontal stripes.

There is a short white stripe below the eyes.

Inhabits small wormholes in which it lies with its head sticking out, where it then shoots out for fractions of a second to catch food.

Not shy, only withdraws into its hole when harassed.

Photos 1 - 2 Johnny: Bonaire Caribbean


Acanthemblemaria spinosa

Spinyhead blenny

 Maximum length: 2 - 3 cm

Depth: 6 - 20 m

Above the eyes, the tentacles often have only two branches.

Yellow-green "googly eyes"

Black head and body with white speckles, white on the snout and neck.

Curious, always peeking out of its hole.

Photos 1 -2 Johnny: Bonaire Caribbean


Alloblennius pictus

Painted leafe blenny

 Maximum length: 4.5 cm

Depth: 3 - 25 m

Sand-coloured body.

They usually look out of holes in corals.

Occasionally eats fish eggs.

Not shy.

Photo 1 Astrid: Hurghada Egypt


Aspidontus dussumieri

Lance blenny or Dussumier's blenny

 Maximum length: 12 cm

Depth: 1 - 20 metres

It has a dark lateral stripe and lives in sheltered reefs.

It always hides near tubes.

Unlike other toothers, it does not use its teeth to bite off a piece of fish, which is rare, but feeds mainly on zooplankton and algae.

Not frequently encountered, lives alone and is shy.

Photo 1 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt


Aspidontus taeniatus

False cleanerfish

 Maximum length: 12 cm

Depth: 1 - 25 m

The snout protrudes beyond the mouth.

Mimics the common cleaner wrasse.

Bites off pieces of skin, fins and scales from other fish.

Photos 1 - 2 Johnny: Moalboal Philippines


Atrosalarias fuscus

Dusky blenny, Brown coral blenny or Black blenny

 Maximum length: 14 cm

Depth: 2 - 20 m

Juvenile: Yellow body.

Adults become dark blue with increasing age, in certain light conditions they appear almost black.

Different patterns appear on the head when frightened or stressed.

Photos 1 - 2 Johnny: Lembeh Strait North Sulawesi


Chaenopsis ocellata

Bluetroath pikeblenny

 Maximum length: 12 cm

Depth: 1 - 5 metres

It has an elongated head with a flattened snout, a long body and is snake-like.

Colour pale light brown, whitish belly.

Solitary, inhabits empty worm tubes.

Photo 1 Johnny: Bonaire Caribbean


Cirripectes castaneus

Chestnut eyelash-blenny

 Maximum length: 12 cm

Depth: 0.3 - 7 m

Shy loner that is very difficult to photograph as it only leaves its hiding place for a very short time, if at all.

Photos 1 - 2 Johnny: El Qesir Egypt

Photo 3 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt


Ecsenius aroni

Aron's blenny

 Maximum length: 5.5 cm

Depth: 2 - 35 m

Flees into worm tubes or holes in case of danger, otherwise it rests hidden in corals, under overhangs or in crevices.

Prefers deeper water up to 35 metres.

Photos 1 - 2 Johnny: Embudu Maldives

Photo 3 Astrid: Hurghada Egypt


Ecsenius bimaculatus

Twinspot coralblenny

 Maximum length: 5 cm

Depth: 1 - 25 m

Males are larger than females, which usually barely reach 3 cm.

Photo 1 Johnny: Moalboal Philippines


Ecsenius dentex

Dentex blenny

 Maximum length: 6 cm

Depth: 1 - 15 m

Light brown body with light-coloured spots.

Rests on living and dead corals, in case of danger it flees into small caves.

Photos 1 - 3 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt


Ecsenius gravieri

Red sea mimic blenny

 Maximum length: 8 cm

Depth: 2 - 20 m

Found in sheltered lagoons and outer reefs.

Likes to rest on corals.

Photos 1 - 3 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt

Photo 4 Astrid: Hurghada Egypt


Ecsenius midas

Midas blenny, Persian blenny, Lyretail blenny or Golden blenny

 Maximum length: 13 cm

Depth: 2 - 35 m

There are 2 colour variants: Blue-grey and yellow.

Feeds on zooplankton when there is a current. 

Hides in tubes with only its head sticking out.

Photos 1 - 2 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt


Ecsenius minutus

Collar blenny or Little combtooth blenny

Maximum length: 9 cm

Depth: 3 - 12 m

Likes to lie on corals or in tubes.

Photo 1 Johnny: Embudu Maldives


Ecsenius pictus

White-lined comb-tooth or Pictus blenny

Maximum length: 5 cm

Depth: 10 - 40 m

Yellowish tail with blurred dark bands.

The body has fine white longitudinal stripes, with the upper and centre stripes interrupted by white dots.

Usually perches on live coral.

Photos 1 - 2 Johnny: Moalboal Philippines


Emblemaria pandionis

Sailfin blenny

Maximum length: 6 cm

Depth: 1 - 12 metres

Short snout, blunt head, first dorsal fin usually has a blue spot.

There are often blue to white spots on the lips and throat.

The large sailfin is very conspicuous, but you hardly ever get to see it as the fish rarely ventures out of its hole.

Photos 1 - 2 Astrid: Bonaire Caribbean


Emblemaria vitta

Ribbon blenny

 Maximum length: 2.1 cm

Depth: 10 - 35 m

Light brown head and body with rows of small brown to completely dark brown spots.

Back half cream-coloured, the front third of the dorsal fin black or light brown with several longitudinal rows of small dark spots.

A large orange-coloured spot covers the base of the spines of the dorsal fin (unfortunately not visible in the photos as it did not want to come out of its hole).

Red iris with yellow inner ring, pale caudal fin.

Photos 1 - 2 Astrid: Bonaire Caribbean


Enneanectes altivelis

Loftly triplefin

 Maximum length: 4 cm

Depth: 3 - 10 metres

Mainly found on rocky coasts with very clear water.

Perfect body camouflage, very difficult to find.

Photo 1 Johnny: Bonaire Caribbean 


Enneanectes atrorus

Blackedge triplefin

 Maximum size: 3.3 cm

Depth: 1 - 15 m

Adults inhabit patch reefs surrounded by a white sandy bottom.

They are always well camouflaged, making them difficult to detect by predators.

Photo 1 Astrid: Bonaire Caribbean

Photo 2 Johnny: Bonaire Caribbean


Exallias brevis

Leopard blenny

 Maximum length: 14 cm

Depth: 0.3 - 20 m

This species lives among branching corals, usually in fairly shallow water.

Shy.

Photos 1 - 3 Johnny: El Qesir Egypt

Photo 4 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt


Helcogramma striata

Tropical striped triplefin, Striped threefin or Neon triplefin

 Maximum length: 4 cm

Depth: 0 - 30 m

The body is relatively elongated, its mouth is terminal.

The body is brick-red in colour with two white longitudinal lines and a few white dots between the eyes.

The fins are translucent.

Photo 1 Johnny: Bangka Island North Sulawesi


Malacoctenus gilli

Dusky blenny

 Maximum length: 7.6 cm

Depth: 1 - 5 m

Inhabits seagrass meadows and sandy areas with stones and rubble.

Difficult to spot as it blends in with its surroundings in terms of colour.

Photo 1 Astrid: Bonaire Caribbean


Malacoctenus triangulatus

Saddled blenny

 Maximum length: 6 cm

Depth: 2 - 15 m

Body with white ground colouring, sometimes yellow to orange.

Four dark, triangular, saddle-shaped spots on the back.

The root of the tail has a dark transverse band.

Reef dweller, moves along the bottom and rests on the ventral and caudal fins when it stops.

Not shy, you can get close to it before it swims away.

Photo 1 Astrid: Bonaire Caribbean


Meiacanthus atrodorsalis

Forktail blenny, Eyelash harptail-blenny, Poison-fang blenny

or Yellowtail poison-fang blenny

 Maximum length: 11 cm

Depth: 1 - 30 m

Body blue-grey at the front, fading to yellow at the back.

A line diagonally from the eye up to the dorsal fin.

Photo 1 Johnny: Moalboal Philippines


Meiacanthus grammistes

Striped blenny, Striped fang blenny, Grammistes blenny,

Line-spot harptail blenny or Striped poison-fang blenny

 Maximum length: 12 cm

Depth: 1 - 25 m

Yellowish head, three black longitudinal stripes that change to dots from the rear body to the end of the caudal fin.

Not shy, regularly observed.

Photo 1 Johnny: Lembeh Strait North Sulawesi


Meiacanthus nigrolineatus

Blackline fangblenny

 Maximum length: 10 cm

Depth: 1 - 25 m

Hovers close above corals and stops for very short periods of time. 

As it is poisonous, it is ignored as prey, its bite has the effect of a bee sting.

Mimicked by the mimicry combtooth.

Photo 1 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt 


Ophioblennius macclurei

Redlip blenny

 Maximum length: 12 cm

Depth: 0 - 12 m

Variations: Dark reddish-brown to bicoloured with grey or almost completely grey, but most commonly bicoloured.

Their lips often have a reddish colour.

Favours shallow coral reefs or rocky areas.

Always rests on elevated ground, is territorial and chases intruders away.

Not shy, a close approach is possible.

Photos 1 - 2 Astrid: Bonaire Caribbean

 Photos 3 - 5 Johnny: Bonaire Caribbean


Periophthalmus sp.

No english designation Help is welcome

Maximum length: 5 to 16.5 cm

Depth: 0 - 5 m

There are probably several hundred different species of mudskippers.

These include, for example, the common mudskipper, the mangrove mudskipper and the swamp mudskipper.

They have an elongated body that is slightly flattened at the back and protruding eyes.

Mudskippers are amphibious fish and spend most of their time out of the water.

They move on land by hopping. 

Photo 1 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt


Petroscirtes breviceps

Striped poison-fang blenny mimic, Striped fangblenny mimic, 

Short-head sabretooth blenny, Short-headed blenny

Sabretooth blenny or Black-banded blenny

 Maximum length: 12 cm

Depth: 1 - 40 m

Native to coral reefs.

Photos 1 - 2 Johnny: Lembeh Strait North Sulawesi


Petroscirtes mitratus

Floral blenny, Floral fangblenny, Helmeted blenny

or Crested sabretooth blenny

 Maximum length: 7 cm

Depth: 1 - 12 m

Camouflage colour from algae.

High dorsal fin.

Inhabits shallow lagoons and bays, as well as sheltered reef tops.

Likes to live among algae and tufts of seaweed.

Often overlooked due to its camouflage colour.

Photos 1 - 2 Astrid: Hurghada Egypt


Petroscirtes variabilis

Variable sabretooth blenny, Variable fangblenny

or Variable blenny

 Maximum length: 15 cm

Depth: 1 - 5 metres

Adult sabretooth blennies are found in shallow lagoons in seagrass beds down to a depth of around 5 metres.

Their menu includes fish scales and pieces of skin, which they quickly tear from the bodies of victims swimming past.

Photo 1 Johnny: Bangka Island North Sulawesi


Petroscirtes xestus

Xestus sabretooth blenny, Xestus fangblenny

or Bearded sabretooth blenny

 Maximum length 6.5 cm

Depth: 1 - 20 m

Adults live and nest in empty mollusc shells.

Photo 1 Johnny: Lembeh Strait North Sulawesi


Plagiotremus rhinorhynchos

Bluestriped fangblenny

 Maximum length: 12 cm

Depth: 1 - 40 m

Lives in lagoons and on outer reefs.

It bites off parts of fins and scales from reef fish that pass by in bite and flight actions.

Seeks shelter in empty tubes, where it also lays its eggs.

Photo 2 Johnny: Lembeh Strait North Sulawesi

Photos 1 + 3 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt


Plagiotremus tapeinosoma

Piano fangblenny

 Maximum length: 14 cm

Depth: 1 - 20 m

Inhabits lagoons and outer reefs, often along shallow reef edges. 

It attacks fish and even divers in a quick bite and flight action and then flees into tubes in case of danger.

Photo 1 Astrid: Hurghada Egypt

Photo 2 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt


Plagiotremus townsendi

Townsend's fangblenny

 Maximum length: 4 cm

Depth: 5 - 55 m

Blue-grey at the front and yellow at the back.

Lives on corals and algae-covered rocky reefs.

Not common, if then often in murky water.

It also approaches larger fish and quickly bites chunks or parts of fins out of them and then flees quickly.

Photos 1 - 2 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt


Salarias ceramensis

Seram blenny or Ceram blenny

 Maximum length: 15 cm

Depth: 1 - 10 m

Single animal, found on algae fields near the reef, coral rubble or dead corals.

In its natural environment, it feeds mainly on green algae, which are grazed on stones or dead corals. 

Photo 1 Johnny: Bangka Island North Sulawesi


Salarias fasciatus

Jewelled blenny or Lawnmower blenny

 Maximum length: 14 cm

Depth 1: - 15 m

Grazes rocks all day long.

Photos 1 - 2 Johnny: Lembeh Strait North Sulawesi


Starksia hassi

Ringed blenny

 Maximum length: 4 cm

Depth: 6 - 175 m

The blenny inhabits rich coral pinnacles, always close to an anemone, the Condylactis gigantea ( Caribbean golden rose ), but not like the anemone fish, for example, whose body mucus is immune to the nettles of the anemone, as the body mucus of this small fish is not immune to this poison, which is why it avoids any contact.

Photo 1 Johnny: Bonaire Caribbean


Xiphasia setifer

Hairtail blenny or Snake blenny

Maximum length: 40 cm

Depth: 1 - 50 m

On mud and sandy areas, in vertical holes created by other reef inhabitants, usually only the head is visible.

Like all blennies, it also dives backwards into the hole.

Photo 1 Johnny: Lembeh Strait North Sulawesi