Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Scartichthys gigas, Giant blenny

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

cirri: eye - 1 branched, nape - 1 pair clusters
black blotch behind eye
D shallow notch, dark + red margin
body: dense dark spots
no canines
gill opening not restricted to side
LL complete, bent

Scartichthys gigas (Steindachner, 1876)

Giant blenny

Elongate, robust; head deep, blunt; a cluster of cirri at front nostril; one branched cirrus over eye, 2 irregular clusters of nape cirri; no large canines at rear of lower jaw; gill openings wide, membranes not fused to belly; dorsal fin with shallow notch between spinous and soft parts, XI-XIII, 16-18; anal II, 18-20; pelvic I, 4; lateral line continuous, bends down above origin of anal fin, rear section consisting of 18-22 short, 2-pored tubes.

Brown, body densely covered with small irregular dark red-brown blotches on a pale background, clusters of white dots in a row of pale spots along upper back, several large whitish blotches along belly; snout with small pale spots, cheeks with scattered larger pale spot; a blackish, blotch about size of pupil behind eye; eye cirrus brown with red tip; dorsal brown, base with dark blotches, narrow red margin; tail - rays purplish brown, membranes yellowish; anal - yellow brown inner half, dark brown outer half; pelvic tan; pectoral base brown with whitish blotches, pectoral rays brown.  Juveniles  with 8-10 irregular bars on body, head pale spotted.

Size: 27 cm.

Habitat: rocky shores.

Depth: 0-10 m.

Panama (strays) to Chile; probably only as a vagrant in our region.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Omnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Benthic microalgae
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • Benthic
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
  • TEP non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • All species
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • Temperate Eastern Pacific, primarily
  • Continent only
  • Continent
  • Peruvian province, primarily
  • Vagrant
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 27
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 10