Yarrell's blenny (Chirolophis ascanii)

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



Chirolophis ascanii has a robust and elongate body that may reach up to 25 cm in length. It has a small head with a blunt snout and a terminal, frog-like mouth. A large fringed tentacle is present above each eye and other smaller ones are present on top of the head. A single dorsal fin runs continuously from above the pectoral fin base to just before the tail. All dorsal rays are spiny and equal in size. The anal fin is also continuous although about a fifth shorter in length and is made up of soft rays. The caudal fin is small and rounded. Yarrell's blenny is bright red to brown with numerous dark patches and transverse bars. A dark ring is present around the eye continued as a stripe down the cheek.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Widely distributed throughout British and Irish waters.

Global distribution



Yarrell's blenny is a subtidal benthic species usually found over rocks and amongst seaweeds from depths of 20 m down to over 200 m.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Up to 25 cm in length.
  • Small, blunt head with frog-like mouth.
  • Fringed tentacles on head.
  • Long dorsal fin with 50-54 equal-length spines, long anal fin with 35-40 soft rays.
  • A dark ring is present around the eye.

Additional information

No text entered

Listed by

- none -


  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. Knijn, R.J., Boon, T.W., Heesen, H.J.L & Hislop, J.R.G., 1993. Atlas of North Sea Fishes. ICES cooperative research reports. ICES 194., Copenhagen

  4. 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).


  1. Centre for Environmental Data and Recording, 2018. Ulster Museum Marine Surveys of Northern Ireland Coastal Waters. Occurrence dataset https://www.nmni.com/CEDaR/CEDaR-Centre-for-Environmental-Data-and-Recording.aspx accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-09-25.

  2. Kent & Medway Biological Records Centre, 2017. Fish: Records for Kent.. Occurrence dataset https://doi.org/10.15468/kd1utk accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.

  3. Manx Biological Recording Partnership, 2018. Isle of Man historical wildlife records 1990 to 1994. Occurrence dataset:https://doi.org/10.15468/aru16v accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  4. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from: https://www.nbnatlas.org.

  5. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2024. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2024-06-23


This review can be cited as:

Barnes, M.K.S. 2008. Chirolophis ascanii Yarrell's 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 23-06-2024]. Available from: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/156

Last Updated: 02/06/2008