Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Family: LABRISOMIDAE, Scaly Blennies

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

nape + cirri
1-2 Ds, more spines than soft rays
fin rays unbranched
body with smooth scales
with LL



Small, elongate fishes (reach about 30 cm); head usually with cirri on sides of nape, nostrils, and above the eye; each jaw with outer row of large canines or incisors; teeth usually on center of mouth and often on sides as well; 1 (rarely 2) dorsal fin, usually more spines, which are flexible, than segmented rays, (some species lack soft rays entirely); dorsal and anal fins with long bases; anal fin with II spines; pelvic fins with 1 internal spine, 2-3 soft rays, inserted before pectoral base; all fin rays unbranched; smooth scales at least on rear of body; lateral line variable, complete to only on front of body, rarely absent.

Labrisomids live on the reef"s surface or among weeds. Their diet consists of various invertebrates including crabs, gastropod molluscs, chitons, brittle stars, urchins, and polychaetes. They are considerably diverse with regards to shape and most are cryptically colored to blend with the background.

This tropical family contains 14 genera and approximately 105 species. Most are found in the North American tropics, but some species occur in the eastern Atlantic. In our region there are 37 species (all endemics) from eight genera (three endemics).