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Species: Malacoctenus polyporosus, Porous blenny

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

body: bars
flank stripes
under head spotted
behind chin 5-6 pores
A 18-23
LL 51-53
pelvic base dark spot
male red below
scales: pectoral base +/-, none before D

Malacoctenus polyporosus Springer, 1959

Porous blenny

Head slender, snout pointed; nape with a close-set 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; no teeth on sides of roof of mouth; 5-6 (1-10) pores on underside of head between front ends of gill covers; gill rakers 11-12 (10-14); dorsal fin XX, 11, (XIX-XXI, 9-13), notch between spines and rays; anal II, 19-21 (18-23), very rarely 18; pectoral 14 (13-15); 3 pelvic soft rays; 51-53 (49-56) lateral line scales; scales absent on midline in front of dorsal fin; scales absent or present on prepectoral and breast areas of adults; scales on belly smaller than those on flanks.

Males light greenish on upper half, reddish or pink on lower half, 5-6 irregular-shaped dark brown bars on side and narrow stripes below; females similar except lacking reddish or pink hue on belly, and with spotted dorsal and tail fins (spotting absent or reduced in male); both sexes with underside of head invariably spotted; almost always a small dark spot in front of each pelvic fin base.

Size: grows to 9 cm.

Habitat: the most common blenny in rocky shallows of the Gulf of California.

Depth: 1-7.6 m.

The southeast Gulf of California to southern Mexico.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Submerged vegetation
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • No Data
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
  • Benthic
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • TEP endemic
  • Mexican province endemic
  • Continent only
  • Continent
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 9
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 8