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Species: Acanthemblemaria balanorum, Club-head barnacle-blenny

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

head round
forehead: club spines
head & mouth purple/red
flank: 1 row 6-8 dark blotches + white bars/spots

Acanthemblemaria balanorum Brock, 1940

Club-head barnacle-blenny

Body elongate; short blunt head; spines on snout & under eye, bony club-like spines or tubercles on frontal bones in two triangular patches separated on middle of head by narrow spineless groove, spines large, blunt, expanded at tips, almost bridging spineless gap on midinterorbital; cirri on nostrils, over eyes (1 pair, unbranched), but not on nape; 2 rows of well-developed teeth on side of roof of mouth; dorsal XXIV, 13; anal II, 24-25; pectoral 13.

Tan; head and jaws purplish to red, a cream bar across side of lower jaw under eye, cream marks behind and below eye; mid-side with a row of 6-8 large dark brown to blackish spots with adjacent pale dashes along middle of sides; mating males with front of head dark red, rear of head and front of body black.

Size: attains 4.5 cm.

Habitat: lives exclusively in empty barnacle shells on rocky reefs.

Depth: 0-5 m.

The SW and central eastern Gulf of California to southern Mexico, and SE Panama to northern Ecuador.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Reef only
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Rocks
  • Barnacles & worm tubes
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
  • Benthic
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Continent
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent only
  • 3 provinces (Cortez + Mexican + Panamic) endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 4.5
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 5