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Species: Hypleurochilus multifilis, Featherduster Blenny

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eye cirrus - stalk + top branches
male: pair skin folds on nape
brown + indistinct pale lines
preoperculum pores - groups of 5+
pelvic I, 3
A usually 17 segmented rays

Hypleurochilus multifilis (Girard, 1858)

Featherduster Blenny

Head large, blunt, front profile steep and rounded; body elongate, compressed; males with a large fold of skin on each side of nape; nostril with a long flap bearing 2-25 cirri; a single large cirrus over eye, main shaft rounded, with a series of simple cirri about half the length of the main cirrus at its base; mouth at front; top margin of top lip free, that margin discontinous at front; jaw teeth are elongate incisors, with a large curved canine at rear of each jaw; pores on preoperculum in clusters of 5 or more; gill membranes broadly fused on throat, gill opening ends at level of lower base of pectoral fin; dorsal fin XI-XIII, 14-15, with a distinct notch between spiny and soft parts, spiny part distinctly lower than soft part; pectoral fin 13-14 rays; anal fin II, 16-17; pelvic fin I, 3; fin rays unbranched, except on tail fin; lateral line in 2 parts, 1st curved down behind end of pectoral, ends under last dorsal spines, 2nd from mid-flank to above ~middle of anal fin; no scales.

Male is grey-brown, with a pattern of indistinct paler irregular lines; female is mottled grey-brown; a dark spot at front of dorsal fin; often a dark spot at base of tail fin, rest of fin with faint bars in female.

Reaches 10 cm.

Lives on oyster reefs, inshore rocks in estuaries, and shallow reefs further offshore.

Depth range: 1-18 m.

The Gulf of Mexico.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Estuary
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Omnivore
  • Data
  • Benthic microalgae
  • 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 only
  • GC endemic
  • Gulf of Mexico endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 10
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 18