M@re Nostrum

Tompot Blenny
(Parablennius gattorugine)

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his fish may reach 30 cm long, but 15-20 cm is more typical. It has a thin, elongated body with a roundish head, from which protrude two prominent branching feeler-like tentacles.

Parablennius gattorugine

Its color is brownish with some lighter vertical bars. It has only one dorsal fin, taller near the head than it is near the tail. Instead of scales its skin is covered with mucous glands; for this reason, people on the Mediterranean Spanish coast also know them as "babosas" (slugs).

Lives on rocky bottoms and in the holes of walls; less common in the underwater grasslands. May be found between 3 and 30 meters' depth. Not found in some parts of the eastern Mediterranean. Where the water is very hot (over 20 degrees Celsius), may leap out of the water onto shoreline rocks for short periods.

Feeds on certain invertebrates and algaes. Can be observed the whole day but especially active in the afternoon. In the reproductive period from March to May, females seek males' territories, always around a hole or similar irregularity. Males, who are quite territorial, take care of the eggs until they hatch out.

These blennies, like all of their species, retreat to their burrows when they feel threatened, but after only a short while they stick their heads out again, because their curiosity is almost human.

On occasion they can be observed in a symbiotic relationship with shrimp.

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© Proofreading Bob Bridges 1998


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Última modificación: 01 enero 2024 10:18

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