Class: Pisces
Order: Perciformes
Sub-order: Blennioidei

The Blenny is any of the fish of the suborder Blennioidei ( from the order Perciformes). Blennies are usually small, and are marine fish found in anything from tropical seas to the Antarctic ocean. As a group, they all have such features as a long dorsal fin and pelvic fins. When these are present, they are found near the throat and contain one spine and two to four rays. In general, they are thin, ranging in shape from moderately elongated, as in some of the tropical species, to very long and eel-like.

By classification, blennies comprise of a number of families. The two largest are:

  • Clinidae \ scaled blennies, with about 180 species:
    • Carnivorous.
    • Usually less than 30cm long.
    • Have a long, many-spined dorsal fin.
    • Many have a rather pointy nose and fringed tentacles on their heads and snouts.
  • Blenniidae \ combtooth blennies, with about 300 species:
    • Small, blunt-nosed, scaleless.
    • Live in temperate seas.
    • They have a single and occasionally sometimes notched, dorsal fin.
    • They have slim, comblike teeth.

The habitats of blennies range from rocky ponds to sandy shorelines, reefs, and beds of kelp. Many live in shallow water, but some range to depths of about 450 m. Most are mainly herbivores, the others are partially to wholly carnivores. Blennies are by and large inconspicuous, bottom-dwelling fish. They are of little economic importance.

Blen"ny (?), n.; pl. Blennies (#). [L. blennius, blendius, blendea, Gr. , fr. slime, mucus.] Zool.

A marine fish of the genus Blennius or family Blenniidae; -- so called from its coating of mucus. The species are numerous.


© Webster 1913.

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