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

Tompot blenny (Parablennius gattorugine)

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



Parablennius gattorugine is a large blenny up to 30 cm in length. Parablennius gattorugine has a single branched tentacle above each eye. It is yellow-brown in colour, sometimes it can be greenish, with 7 or more dark bars running across its body from the dorsal fin to the underside.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Parablennius gattorugine is found in the southern British Isles but is not found in the North Sea.

Global distribution

Parablennius gattorugine is found in the Mediterranean and on the north eastern Atlantic coast from Ireland to Morocco.


Parablennius gattorugine is found in inshore waters, usually in crevices or holes in steep rocks from 3-32 m. Parablennius gattorugine is also found between vegetation or boulders at extreme low water.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Single branched tentacle above each eye.
  • Yellow-brown, can be greenish.
  • Seven or more dark bars, run from dorsal fin across body to underside.
  • Up to 30 cm in length.

Additional information

Parablennius ruber has a similar appearance but is red in colour and has been recorded at a small number of very wave exposed locations in western Britain and Ireland.

Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

Search on:


  1. FishBase, 2000. FishBase. A global information system on fishes. [On-line], 2001-05-03

  2. Hayward, P., Nelson-Smith, T. & Shields, C. 1996. Collins pocket guide. Sea shore of Britain and northern Europe. London: HarperCollins.

  3. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. (ed.) 1995b. Handbook of the marine fauna of North-West Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  4. 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.]

  5. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from:  Accessed 01 April 2017

  6. Picton, B.E. & Costello, M.J., 1998. BioMar biotope viewer: a guide to marine habitats, fauna and flora of Britain and Ireland. [CD-ROM] Environmental Sciences Unit, Trinity College, Dublin.,

  7. Wheeler, A., 1969. The fishes of the British Isles and north-west Europe. London: Macmillan.

  8. Wheeler, A., 1994. Field Key to the Shore Fishes of the British Isles. Shrewsbury: Field Studies Council.

  9. 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).


This review can be cited as:

Ager, O.E.D. 2008. Parablennius gattorugine Tompot 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. [cited 24-02-2018]. Available from:

Last Updated: 13/05/2008