Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Malacoctenus zonogaster, Belted blenny, Spot-belly blenny

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

throat & chest - dark bars
upper operculum -dark blotch
A 20-22
LL 57-64
+/- scales before D, none on pectoral base

Malacoctenus zonogaster (Heller & Snodgrass, 1903)

Spot-belly blenny, Belted blenny

Head slender, snout pointed; a close-set pair of heavily branched nape cirri, a branched cirrus over eye; 3-8 (1-14) pores behind chin, between bases of operculae; 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 10-13; dorsal fin XXI, 11, (XX-XXII, 10-12), notch between spines and rays; anal II, 21 (20-22); pectoral 14; 3 pelvic soft rays; 57-64 lateral line scales; belly scales smaller than flank scales; scales present or absent on midline in front of dorsal fin, present on breast, absent from prepectoral region.

Greenish on upper half and white below, 5-6 irregular-shaped dark bars on body; a large (eye-sized) dark spot on upper half of gill cover; narrow greenish-brown bars on lower part of head and lower body; dorsal & anal fins densely spotted in female, with few or no spots in male; tail fin spotted;  

Size: to 8.5 cm.

Common in rocky shallows, including tide pools.

Depth: 1-10 m.

Galapagos Islands.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Rocks
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • Benthic
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • TEP oceanic island (s) endemic
  • Galapagos Islands endemic
  • TEP endemic
  • All species
  • Island (s)
  • Island (s) only
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Vulnerable
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 8.5
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 10