Black faced blenny (Tripterygion delaisi)

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



Tripterygion delaisi can reach up to 9 cm long. In the mating season, males have a brightly coloured yellow body, blue edged fins and jet black heads. Females and non territorial males (out of the breeding season) are grey-brown with vertical dark bars. Females have the ability to mimic their background.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Recorded from only three locations on the south coast of Britain, Portland Harbour, Roundham Head, and Plymouth Sound.

Global distribution

English Channel southwards along the coast of west Africa to Senegal, the eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean sea.


It can be found in rock crevices, pier pilings and other habitats with reduced light in shallow coastal waters between 0 - 40 m in depth.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Triptergion delaisi has scales.
  • 3 dorsal fins are present.
  • Last dark bar of body forms a distinct black spot.

Additional information

Males court females by swimming in a figure of eight.

Listed by

- none -


  1. 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.]

  2. Zander, C.D., 1986. Tripterygiidae. In Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean, Vol. 3. (ed. P.J.P. Whitehead, M.L. Bauchot, J.C. Hureau, J. Nielsen & E. Tortonese), pp. 1118-1121. Paris: UNESCO


  1. Nature Locator, 2017. Sealife Tracker. Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-10-01.

  2. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from:

  3. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2024. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. Accessed: 2024-04-25


This review can be cited as:

Russel, D. 2008. Tripterygion delaisi Black faced blenny. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 25-04-2024]. Available from:

Last Updated: 29/04/2008