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Species: Hypsoblennius ionthas, Freckled Blenny

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male eye cirrus: long, fringed strap
below eye: 2 bars, yellow between
behind eye: yellow bar before dark blotch
body & lower head with dense dark dots
pelvic I,3

Hypsoblennius ionthas (Jordan & Gilbert, 1882)

Freckled Blenny

Moderately elongate; short robust head, with very steep front profile; cirrus over eye short and branched in female, long and strap-like with fringes in male; no cirri on nape, a short cirrus at nostril; top lip with a free top edge; a broad fleshy knob at tip of lower jaw; 3 pores on each side of lower jaw; teeth with blunt flattened tips, in single rows, not movable, no canines on either jaw; gill openings restricted to sides of body by fusion of gill cover membranes to throat; dorsal fin XI-XIII (spines strong), 13-16, with a slight notch between the spiny and soft parts; pelvic fins I, 3; fin rays unbranched, except on tail fin; lateral line ends under end of spiny dorsal fin; no scales.

Female olive green to brown; body and lower sides of head densely freckled with blackish dots; 2 dark bars separated by yellow to orange area down under eye; behind eye with yellow to orange area before a dark blotch, the front border of which is well defined; vertical fins greenish brown. Male similar to female, but front of dorsal fin blackish.

Reaches 8.4 cm.

Lives on hard bottoms in shallow bays and estuaries.

Depth range: 0-3 m.

S Carolina to the Gulf of Mexico.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Corallivore
  • Data
  • Omnivore
  • Data
  • Soft corals/hydroids
  • 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
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 8.4
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 3