MarLIN

information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

Butterfly blenny (Blennius ocellaris)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Summary

Description

Blennius ocellaris reaches up to 20 cm in length. It has one long, continuous and relatively tall dorsal fin with 11 spiny rays and about 14 soft rays. The anterior part of the dorsal fin is noticeably higher than the posterior. It is easily recognisable by the bluish-black spot with a white margin on the dorsal fin. It has one long anal fin running half the length of the body to the tail. The pelvic fins are forked in two and positioned beneath the throat. Its body is deepest at the throat and tapers relatively sharply to the tail. It is mottled light brown to grey in colour with 5-7 darker bars on the body.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Usually found in the English Channel and Irish Sea, as far north as the Isle of Man but one sighting puts it as far north as the Outer Hebrides.

Global distribution

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Habitat

The butterfly blenny is a benthic subtidal species, usually found on hard bottoms from 10 m depth down to over 100 m.

Depth range

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Identifying features

  • Up to 20 cm in length.
  • Anterior part of the long dorsal fin higher than the posterior.
  • 11 dorsal spines and 14 soft dorsal rays elongated beyond the fin membrane.
  • Forked pelvic fin.
  • Bluish-black spot between dorsal spines 6 and 7.

Additional information

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Listed by

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Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. Froese, R. & Pauly, D., 2007. Fishbase. A global information system on fishes. [On-line] http://www.fishbase.org, 2008-02-18

  2. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  3. Moen, F.E. & Svensen, E., 2004. Marine Fish & Invertebrates of Northern Europe. Southend-on-Sea: Aqua Press.

  4. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from: http://www.nbnatlas.org.  Accessed 01 April 2017

  5. OBIS,  2017. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2017-11-24

  6. Whitehead, P.J.P., Bauchot, M.-L., Hureau, J.-C., Nielson, J. & Tortonese, E. 1986. Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Vol. I, II & III. Paris: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Barnes, M.K.S. 2008. Blennius ocellaris Butterfly blenny. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Available from: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/160

Last Updated: 02/06/2008