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Species: Malacoctenus zonifer, Glossy Blenny

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2 dark blotches behind eye
throat & belly: dark spots
front D: outer edge not dark
behind chin 4-5 pores
A 19
LL 54-58
scales before D, not on pectoral base

Malacoctenus zonifer (Jordan & Gilbert, 1882)

Glossy Blenny

Head slender, snout pointed; a close-set pair of heavily branched nape cirri, a branched cirrus over eye; upper part of rear end of top jaw covered by bone under eye; no small teeth behind outer row of large teeth on upper jaw; no teeth on sides of roof of mouth; gill rakers 11 (9-12); adult with 4-5 (1-9) pores on underside of head between front ends of gill flaps; dorsal fin XX, 11, (XIX-XXI, 10-12), notch between spines and rays; anal II, 19 (17-20); pectoral 14 (13-14); 3 pelvic soft rays, length of shortest ray at least 57% of length of longest ray; 54-58 (52-60) lateral line scales; scales on belly smaller than those on flanks; midline in front of dorsal fin with at least one scale; scales absent on prepectoral region, sometimes present on breast.

Back olive, with series of 5 dark saddles; an irregular dark brown to blackish mid-lateral stripe; throat and lower side whitish with brown to blackish blotches and spots; a prominent double dark spot on head just behind eye; males with head more uniformly dark; females with underside of head spotted, and with two large spots on the lower opercle; dorsal, tail and pectoral fins spotted, less so in male; upper part of membranes between first III-IV dorsal spines not heavily pigmented; anal fin dark in male, spotted in female.

Size: attains 8 cm.

Habitat: rocky and rubble bottoms.

Depth: 1-10 m.

The tip of Baja and the central Gulf of California to southern Mexico.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • TEP endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 8
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 10