Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Blenniidae
(Combtooth blennies) > Salariinae
Etymology: Ophioblennius: Greek, ophis = serpent + Greek, blennios = mucus (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 0 - 8 m (Ref. 26938). Tropical
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 19.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 27000)
Morphology | Morphometrics
(total): 12 - 13;
soft rays: 24. Head profile in front of eyes vertical; forehead projects in front of snout. Head, body and anal fin dark reddish brown, sometimes pale pinkish gray; lips and parts of pectoral and tail fins red (Ref. 26938). Larvae have terminal mouths and fang-like teeth for planktonic feeding; adults with comb teeth and ventrally located mouth for benthic feeding. Adult males with fleshy rugosities on anal-fin spines that secrete antimicrobial mucus (Ref. 94105).
Eastern Atlantic: oceanic islands and along the coast of west Africa from Senegal to Angola. Western Atlantic: Bermuda and North Carolina (USA) through the Caribbean to Brazil. Rare in northern Gulf of Mexico (Ref. 26938).
Adults are restricted to shallow waters and dwell among rocks and coral reefs (Ref. 5298), where there is considerable wave action (Ref. 26938). They bite very severely, with their two very long and sharp canine teeth (Ref. 3157). Are grazers feeding on filamentous algae (Ref. 13442) and detritus. Larvae feed on plankton; during larval metamorphosis to adult stage, there is no feeding and rely on lipids stored in the liver (Ref. 94105). Oviparous. Eggs are demersal and adhesive (Ref. 205), and are attached to the substrate via a filamentous, adhesive pad or pedestal (Ref. 94114). Ophioblennius larvae are frequently taken in deep water column (Ref. 5298). Adult males with fleshy rugosities on anal-fin spines that secrete antimicrobial mucus applied to eggs being guarded (Ref. 94102).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Oviparous, distinct pairing (Ref. 205).
Bath, H., 1990. Blenniidae. p. 905-915. In J.C. Quero, J.C. Hureau, C. Karrer, A. Post and L. Saldanha (eds.) Check-list of the fishes of the eastern tropical Atlantic (CLOFETA). JNICT, Lisbon; SEI, Paris; and UNESCO, Paris. Vol. 2. (Ref. 5298)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Traumatogenic (Ref. 3157)
Fisheries: of no interest; aquarium: commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5312 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01023 (0.00452 - 0.02316), b=3.02 (2.83 - 3.21), based on LWR estimates for this Subfamily-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 2.0 ±0.0 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (30 of 100) .