Combtooth blenny fishes are blenniiformids; percomorph marine fish of the household Blenniidae, a part of the order Blenniiformes. They’re the most important family of blennies with around 400 identified species.
Combtooth Blenny fish profile
In this article, I am going to talk about the combtooth blenny walking on land, care, teeth, black combtooth blenny, etc.
Combtooth blennies are present in tropical and subtropical waters within the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans; some species are additionally present in brackish and even freshwater environments.
Combtooth Blenny Diversity
The family Blenniidae is the most important household in its suborder, consisting of six tribes with 53 genera and 345 species.
A slender, elongate physique and cryptic coloring help many blennies of their secretive lifestyle in crevices and holes on the underside of inshore waters.
Blennies are identified for his or her distinctive tooth, that is close-set in a single row on every jaw, and a few blennies have an enormous canine on every decrease jaw, therefore the descriptors “comb-toothed” and “saber-toothed.”
Blennies possess fascinating traits starting from mimicry and hopping over terrestrial rocks to adopting separate colors for courtship.
Most blennies feed on algae and small invertebrates, however some assault different fish to steal bites of fin, scales, or pores and skin.
Combtooth blenny Geography
Blennies may be discovered within the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic oceans, in tropical, subtropical, and temperate waters all through the world.
Combtooth blenny Habitat
Whereas blennies are primarily marine fishes, some family members happen in estuaries or in contemporary water, for instance, in lakes in Italy.
They inhabit shallow, inshore, usually intertidal, waters.
Blennies are typically benthic, occupying grass beds, tide swimming pools, or areas close to rocks, shells, or corals.
The saber-toothed blennies, Aspidontus and Meiacanthus, are free-swimming.
Combtooth blenny Description
The body plan of the combtooth blennies is archetypal to all different blennioids; their blunt heads and eyes are massive, with massive steady dorsal fins (which can have three to 17 spines).
Their bodies are compressed, elongated, and scaleless; their small, slender pelvic fins are located earlier than their enlarged pectoral fins, and their tail fins are rounded.
As their title would recommend, combtooth blennies are famous for the comb-like tooth lining their jaws.
By far the most important species is the eel-like hairtail blenny at 53 cm in size; most different family members are a lot smaller.
Combtooth blennies are lively and infrequently extremely vibrant, making them well-liked within the aquarium pastime.
Sexual dimorphism is frequent to lots of blennies. Usually, males are bigger than females and in some species have a bigger head.
The cirri on the top can take distinct varieties in men and women, as can the anal spines.
Males of some species have fleshy swellings close to the dorsal or anal fins that develop into bigger throughout the spawning season.
Many blennies assume spawning colors, most often the male, however typically the feminine as effectively.
Males are inclined to develop brighter coloration throughout spawning, particularly beneath the jaw, and in a single species, males tackle a 3rd shade sample whereas egg-tending.
Combtooth blenny Communication
Aside from descriptions of visible and olfactory communication throughout mating no particular data was discovered regarding communication strategies utilized by this group.
Primarily bottom-dwellers, blennies are inclined to feed on different benthic organisms, each algae, and invertebrates.
Some are planktivores, some carnivores; others scrape algae off coral and rocks and within the course of could also be feeding on small organisms that reside in affiliation with the algae.
Some blennies nip items of pores and skin, scales, or fins from bigger fish.
Combtooth blenny Habitat and behavior
Typically benthic fish, combtooth blennies spend a lot of their time on or close to the underside.
They could inhabit the rocky crevices of reefs, burrows in sandy or muddy substrates, and even empty shells.
Typically present in shallow waters, some combtooth blennies are able to leave the water for brief intervals throughout low tide, aided by their massive pectoral fins which act as “ft”.
Small benthic crustaceans, mollusks, and different sessile invertebrates are the first meals objects for many species; others eat algae or plankton.
One distinctive group of combtooth blennies deserves particular point out: the so-called saber-toothed blennies of the genera Aspidontus, Meiacanthus, Petroscirtes, Plagiotremus, and Xiphasia.
These blennies have fang-like teeth with venom glands at their bases.
Species of the genera Aspidontus and Plagiotremus (such because the false cleaner fish) are famous for his or her crafty mimicry of cleaner wrasses: by imitating the latter’s color, kind, and behavior, the blennies are capable of trick different fish (and even divers) into letting down their guard, lengthy sufficient for the blennies to nip a fast mouthful of pores and skin or scalp.
Some combtooth blennies kind small teams, whereas others are solitary and territorial. They could be both diurnal or nocturnal, relying on the species.
Females lay eggs in shells or beneath rock ledges; males guard the nest of eggs till hatching.
In some species, the eggs could stay within the oviduct of the feminine till hatched.
The fry of some species endure an ‘ophioblennius’ stage, whereby the fish are pelagic (i.e., inhabiting the midwater) and have vastly enlarged pectoral fins and hooked tooth.
Combtooth blenny Reproduction
Blennies entice mates close to the holes or crevices wherein spawning happens.
The females will usually provoke courtship, some assuming new coloration for spawning.
When the feminine enters the world the male engages in courtship conduct that may embrace turning into spawning colors, bobbing the top up and down on the mouth of the cave, and main the feminine to the nest by swimming with an undulating movement.
One male could mate with a number of females. Males of some species apparently transfer towards an olfactory cue launched by different males throughout spawning.
It’s possible that blennies spawn all year long, most likely in the course of the day. Some teams solely spawn throughout hotter instances of the year, and one species spawns each three to 4 days.
Spawning normally happens within the male’s territory in a cave, crevice, or different shelter.
The male entices the feminine into the cave with numerous courtship behaviors, at which level she begins to put eggs on the surfaces of the shelter.
Spawning could take only some minutes, or could final greater than a day; eggs could also be deposited all of sudden, or on a number of journeys into the nest.
Relying on the scale of the cave, the male could enter with the feminine, or could make intermittent journeys into the opening to fertilize the eggs.
The male is mostly lively throughout spawning, deterring predators, and afterward guarding the eggs till hatching.
Females could often guard the nest as effectively.
One male could mate with a number of females, brooding all of the eggs in the identical nest.
Blennies deposit their eggs in clumps on the hidden surfaces of crevices or holes.
The male, and typically the feminine, guard the eggs till they hatch, at which level the larvae are left to fend for themselves.
Throughout hatching some males energetically fan the eggs.
Care and Compatibility
The combtooth blennies supply the benefit of reaching a manageable grownup measurement of three to five inches, which makes them good candidates for the “common house aquarium,” which to be within the vary of 20 to 55 gallons.
In reality, most will just do high-quality if housed in a 20- to the 30-gallon system.
Simply be sure you present ample rockwork with quite a few bolt holes and hiding locations on your blenny to cover in and acquire a way of safety.
Given their ungainly appears to be like and bottom-dwelling tendencies, you are perhaps tempted to assume that blennies aren’t good jumpers.
However, don’t be fooled! Many a blenny has met a dusty finish on the fish room ground as a result of its proprietor underestimated its leaping capacity.
A good-fitting glass or acrylic aquarium cowl is a should for conserving blennies correctly contained.
A “Sterile” Aquarium
Many of those blennies, with their comb-like tooth, are tailored to grazing on microalgae.
Therefore, they do finest in a system that gives a plentiful and constant crop of algae to munch upon.
In case you’re an aquarist who calls for a superbly pristine, “sterile” aquarium with all surfaces clear of algae, the combtooth blennies may not be your best option for you.
Many will study to simply accept substitute meal choices, similar to frozen or dried herbivore formulations, however, they might fail to thrive within the absence of algae to forage upon.
Keep away from Leopard Blennies
Among the many combtooth blenny “no-nos” is the gorgeous leopard blenny, a.ok.a. the honeycomb blenny Exallias brevis.
Why sellers proceed to supply this obligate corallivore (i.e., eats solely coral polyps) to unsuspecting hobbyists is past my comprehension, however, move this species by if you happen to ought to occur upon it on the market.
Missing its pure eating regimen of stony coral polyps, E. brevis starves to loss of life in captivity as a result of it won’t study to simply accept substitute aquarium fare.
Combtooth blenny Tankmates
Although some species are extra peaceable towards their tankmates than others, territoriality may be a difficulty with the combtooth blennies.
And outcomes could range! One specimen could also effectively behave whereas one other could regularly cop an angle towards tankmates.
As a basic rule, hold one specimen to a tank to keep away from intraspecific squabbles.
Comparable-looking species and/or species that occupy the identical area of interest within the aquarium, similar to hawkfish, gobies, and dragonets, may additionally be targets of aggression.
Bigger tanks with plentiful rockwork have a tendency to assist reduce aggression.
Additionally, introducing your blenny and any potential rivals to the aquarium concurrently may help scale back battling, since no specimen may have a home-field benefit.
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