Blenniidae – Blennies

Blennies are a diverse group of fish, most of which belong to the families of Blenniidae and Chaenopsidae. The most popular aquarium specimens belong to the genera Ecsenius, Salarias, and Meiacanthus. Most Blennies reach a size of three inches in an aquarium, while the largest of the group can reach over seven inches in the wild. Blennies are closely related to Gobies, and often are recognized by the cirri or eyelashes over their eyes and nostrils. These fish are usually bottom dwellers, and are most commonly associated with coral reefs or rocky areas. Blennies are found in tropical and temperate waters throughout the world, and most aquarium specimens come from the Indo-Pacific region. Most Blennies spend their time on the reef grazing on microalgae and small crustaceans.

Blennies in an aquarium are territorial in nature, and only one species per tank is recommended for most of the fish in this group. The exception to this rule is fish from the genus Meiacanthus, which can be kept together in a small group. With all Blennies, extensive rockwork and a good growth of micro algae are necessary to successfully maintain them in an aquarium. Most Blennies are ideally suited for life in the home aquarium. They are relatively hardy, and adjust well to an aquarium.

No distinguishing characteristics are present to identify males from females, although most females are larger than males.

Common NameScientific Name
Smith’s Venomous BlennyMeiacanthus smithi
Chestnut Eyelash BlennyCirripectes castaneus
Red Streaked Eyelash BlennyCirripectes stigmaticus
Two-Coloured BlennyEcsenius bicolour
Lined Combtooth Blenny, Linear blennyEcsenius lineatus
Yellow Combtooth Blenny, Midas BlennyEcsenius midas
Orange Spotted BlennyBlenniella/Istiblennius chrysospilos
Combtooth BlennyEcsenius minutes

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