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Species: Malacoctenus gilli, Dusky Blenny

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front D ocellus
ocellus on body & last D spines

Malacoctenus gilli (Steindachner, 1867)

Dusky Blenny

Head slender, snout pointed, slightly flattened; 1 simple cirrus over nostril, a long, forked cirrus over eye, a pair of long, 3-7 branched cirri on each side of nape; upper part of rear end of top jaw covered by bone under eye; no small teeth behind outer row of large teeth on upper jaws; no teeth on sides of roof of mouth; notch between spines and rays of dorsal fin, usually XX, 9-11; pectoral rays usually 14; pelvic fins with I (internal), 3, last usually not more than 1/2 length of longest ray, inserted before pectoral base; all fin rays unbranched; 42-47 lateral line scales; no scales on pectoral fin base; lateral line tubes or canals at least on front of body smooth scales on rear of body.

Light to dark grey, paler below, sometimes pinkish along upper back, scales with dark edges and whitish centers; body with indistinct dark bars extending onto dorsal fin; a conspicuous dark semi-ocellus at front of dorsal fin and a dark ocellus on upper body extending onto last dorsal spines.

Reaches 7.5 cm.

Lives in a variety of habitats, including reef crest pools, seagrass beds, lagoonal cays, oceanic atolls.

Depth range: 0-5 m.

Bermuda to the S Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Sand & gravel
  • Sea anemones
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 7.5
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 5