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Species: Malacoctenus mexicanus, Mexican Blenny

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

female: many irregular blotches
operculum: white-edged dark oval
male: rear back - 3 black blotches
behind chin 1 pore
pectoral 15
A 20-23; LL 51-56
belly & flank scales same size
scales before D & on pectoral base

Malacoctenus mexicanus Springer, 1959

Mexican Margarita Blenny, Mexican Blenny

Head slender, snout pointed; nape with a pair of heavily branched 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 in most species; no teeth on sides of roof of mouth; 1 (1-4) pores on underside of head between front ends of gill covers; gill rakers 10-12; dorsal fin XXI (XX-XXII), 11 (10-12), notch between spines and rays of dorsal fin; pectoral 15 (14-16), rarely 14; anal fin II, 21 (20-22); 3 pelvic soft rays, length of shortest ray usually > 44.4% of longest ray; lateral line tubes or canals at least on front of body; scales present on midline of nape, before pectorals and on breast; 51-56 lateral line scales; scales on belly same size as scales on side of body; scales between front part of lateral line and upper body profile 4 (4-5).

Female: whitish with numerous irregular yellow-brown to grey-brown blotches on sides, belly white; a large pale-edged brown spot covering most of operculum; nuptial males dark greenish to grey, with several diffuse dark bars and 3 black spots on rear back.

Size: reaches 6.5 cm.

Habitat: rocky and rubble bottoms.

Depth: 1-21 m.

The central Gulf of California to southern Mexico.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef only
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Sessile worms
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Cortez + Mexican provinces endemic
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Continent only
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent
  • 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
  • 6.5
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 21