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Species: Scartella cristata, Molly Miller, Molly Miller Blenny

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nape: 2 rows red & white barred cirri
blotched & barred

Scartella cristata (Linnaeus, 1758)

Molly Miller, Molly Miller Blenny

Body elongate; head relatively high, with steep snout profile; cirrus over front nostril, eye and a row of cirri along each side of nape; no fleshy crest on head; many movable teeth on each jaw, no teeth on front of roof of mouth, a stout canine at rear of lower jaw; lips not enlarged, lower surface of top lip all smooth; gill openings broad, forming a fold across throat; dorsal fin with shallow notch between spiny and soft parts, XII spines, last one of moderate size, 14-15 rays; anal fin II, 16-17; fin rays unbranched, except on tail fin; lateral line is a short arch over pectoral, ending under end of spiny dorsal; no scales.

Dull green to olive, sometimes quite dark; head with a dark blotch behind eye, 2 dark bars under eye; nape cirri red and white; body with dark brown double-bars that extend onto dorsal fin, sometimes mixed with pearly spots along upper back and upper head; sometimes upper part of bars reddish and a dark brown stripe along midline; a dark spot at front of dorsal fin; fish entirely yellow when on Sargassum rafts

Reaches 10 cm.

Lives in tidepools and shallow rocky areas, often in empty barnacles; also occasionally on Sargassum rafts.

Depth range: 0-20 m, usually in < 10 m.

E and W Atlantic and the Mediterraneuan. Florida to northern Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Barnacles & worm tubes
  • Flotsam
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Detritivore
  • Herbivore
  • Omnivore
  • Data
  • Benthic macroalgae/seagrasses
  • Benthic microalgae
  • Detritus
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Sessile crustacea
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • Transatlantic (East+West Atlantic)
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-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
  • 10
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 20