The Molly Miller Blenny, also called the Combtooth Blenny, originates within the Caribbean Ocean. Its color is a mottled tan, white and black protecting the body and fins.
Molly Miller Blenny profile
The top of this fish is roofed with brief hair-like appendages and has two very massive eyes. In this article, I will provide an overview of molly miller blenny care, reef safe, aiptasia, eating aiptasia, lifespan, fish, size, etc.
The molly miller (Scartella cristata) is a species of fish of the household Blenniidae (combtooth blennies) within the order Perciformes.
Molly Miller Blenny may be discovered within the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and northwest Pacific Oceans.
The color of the Molly Miller Blenny is a mottled tan, white, and black protecting the physique and fins. The top of this fish is roofed with brief hair-like appendages and has two very massive eyes.
This Molly Miller Blenny species reaches 12 cm (4.7 in) in the whole size.
The Molly Miller Blenny, Scartella cristata, is among the many under-appreciated marine aquarium fishes. At first look, its look is perhaps thought-about drab.
Cryptic, camouflage coloration that appears to mix collectively into “grey” from a distance seldom makes for the colorful addition so many people need once we put a brand new fish into our reef tanks.
Molly Miller Blenny (Scartella cristata) – Its color is a mottled tan, white and black protecting the physique and fins.
The top of this fish is roofed with brief hair-like appendages and has two very massive eyes.
The food regimen ought to embrace meaty objects corresponding to finely chopped crustacean flesh, vitamin enriched frozen brine, and mysis shrimp.
If inadequate algae are current within the aquarium, the food regimen ought to be supplemented with a quality dried seaweed.
Molly Miller Blenny Origin
Bermuda, Florida (USA), and the northern Gulf of Mexico to Brazil. Japanese Atlantic:
Mauritania and the Canary Islands to about Möwe Bay, Namibia. Additionally identified within the southern elements of Mediterranean, together with the next most southern localities of the northern coast:
Torremolinos and Taramay close to Motril (Spain), Sicily, Kyra Island (Gulf of Aigina), and close to Palaea Epidavros, Peloponnes (Greece). Northwest Pacific: Japan and Taiwan.
Molly Miller Blenny Description
The captive-bred Molly Miller Blenny, Scartella cristata, has all of it. Hardy to a fault, they’re a super captive-bred “cleanup-crew” all rolled up in an under-appreciated however lovely package deal.
Molly Miller Blennies have been documented to eat detritus, pest algae, and sure, even Aiptasia!
Kenneth Wingerter’s complete article on the Molly Miller Blenny provides you a whole rundown of all these species has going for it.
Molly Millers are large-ranging – not precisely world, however, discovered within the Pacific, Atlantic, and the Mediterranean.
It seems, the Molly Miller Blenny is even sexually dimorphic and sexually dichromatic. This implies I can try to supply them in pairs!
It’s price noting nonetheless that males might even mate with a number of females too! For my part, males are extra enticing than females.
In a small tank, it’d in all probability be greatest to have both a single or mated pair…however in bigger aquariums a number of can in all probability be housed collectively in a colony the place they’ll every stake out their very own house territories.
We get Molly Millers in a mixture of sizes, however, all of the prices the same.
I shall be blissful to accommodate your particular requests wherever doable; deciding on “Attainable Pair” will get you my greatest effort to choose a female and male from the out there fish, however, I can’t *assure* them to be a pair.
Then once more, one takes a look at a mature male (as proven above) ought to let you know that the unassuming juveniles do actually have some potential to be quite enticing as soon as they develop up.
Their coloration can also be influenced by their environment; they are often actually charcoal grey and utterly ugly, or vibrant rusty pink in precise situations.
Temper might also play a job in coloration; conserving them in social teams might make sure people extra enticing.
One might scarcely discuss with Molly Miller blenny as a “decorative fish.” To make sure, it is among the most hideous animals that an aquarist’s cash can purchase.
With its bulbous, bony head, big eyes, and a crown of bristlelike appendages, it bears the visage of one thing out of a Dr. Seusian nightmare.
In lieu of the brilliant hues and gaudy patterns attribute to so many different coral reef fishes, it’s colored solely with blotchy patches of drab browns, greens, and grays.
Missing a well-developed swim bladder, it roughly lays on the underside, clumsily scooting about in a most ungraceful method.
Actually, so far as outward appearances go, its sole saving grace is the unhappy comfort of being (a minimum of to some fishkeepers) so ugly that it’s cute.
A well-established 30-gallon or bigger aquarium with a number of hiding locations and loads of dwell rock is an appropriate atmosphere.
The dwell rock supplies locations to hunt and feed on small crustaceans and algae in addition to locations to cover.
It’s not often aggressive until the tank mates seem to have the same form because it does.
The food regimen ought to embrace meaty objects corresponding to finely chopped crustacean flesh, vitamin enriched frozen brine, and mysis shrimp.
If inadequate algae are current within the aquarium, the food regimen ought to be supplemented with high-quality dried seaweed.
Whereas it might not be the perfect trying fish on the market, the Molly Miller blenny does possess an abundance of one thing aquarists universally discuss with as “character.”
The antics of this clever, excitable, and oftentimes scrappy animal are well-known–certainly celebrated–amongst those that have saved them.
All of that being stated, the Molly Miller blenny may greatest be described as a “utility fish.”
This not-so-fussy eater has earned a status as an efficient aquarium scavenger; it’s identified to feed on nuisance algae and detritus and is broadly reputed to feed on cyanobacteria and Aiptasia spp. sea anemones.
If even half of those reviews maintain as much as fact, the Molly Miller blenny might actually be the preeminent clean-up critter of the marine aquarium fish commerce.
To notice, Molly Miller Blenny might be the primary fish species to be commercially tank bred for this function.
The Molly Miller blenny is just not significantly tough to keep up in captivity; really, there are few marine fish species that are as amendable to aquarium situations.
This may be attributed largely to its varied variations for subsistence in harsh, unstable environments.
Molly Miller Blenny Habitat
The molly miller is a marine tropical fish that lives in rocks or coral reefs 0–10 m beneath the floor.
Coral reefs are good locations for the fish to hunt and feed on the small crustaceans and algae that make up its omnivorous diet and provides them shelter and locations to cover, as properly.
Molly Miller Blenny Distribution
Molly Miller blenny lives within the western Atlantic from Bermuda, Florida, and the northern Gulf of Mexico to Brazil, and within the eastern Atlantic from Mauritania and the Canary Islands to Namibia.
The fish will be discovered within the southern Mediterranean, together with close to Milan, Sicily, and the Peloponnese (Greece). It additionally lives close to Japan and Taiwan.
Scartella cristata could be very a lot cosmopolitan in distribution. Constructed to resist the pains of life within the shallow intertidal zone, it’s established all through many tropical, subtropical, and temperate seas.
Not one to permit itself to be excluded from any type of nearshore habitat, the species will be discovered within the Northwest Pacific Ocean (Japan to Taiwan), the Japanese Atlantic Ocean (from Mauritania and the Canary Islands to South Africa), the Western Atlantic Ocean (from Florida to Brazil) and the Mediterranean Ocean (from Spain to Greece).
Its rising presence in Southern Europe has been attributed to the consequences of world local weather change.
Molly millers desire very shallow waters the place massive predators are scarce and benthic algae is considerable.
Densities sharply lower with rising depth. Whereas they occupy small tide swimming pools all the way down to around 10 meters deep, inhabitants’ densities are best at 2-4 meters depth.
Good for aquarium fish
Many various species and forms of blennies enter the aquarium commerce recurrently.
A few of the extra generally encountered genuses are Atrosalarias (the Sailfin Blennies), Blenniella (Rockskipper or Combtooth Blennies), Ecsenius (typically small and flat-faced), Meiacanthus (the infamous fangtooth blennies), and Salarias (the favored algae-eating Lawnmower Blennies).
Many blennies might eat some algae rising within the aquarium just like the nuisance hair algae, or decorative macroalgae like Caulerpa.
Blennies can even settle for many different forms of meals like pellets, frozen formulation, brine shrimp, and others.
Blennies will be saved with most different group tankmates like damsels, clownfish, and angels however they could develop into territorial with time and can defend against trespassers.
Blennies sometimes don’t tolerate others of the same species besides in very massive aquariums with sufficient territory to accommodate their want for the house.
They’re protected for reef aquariums and won’t hurt most invertebrates, with the doable exception of small crustaceans like Horny Shrimp.
They spend more often than not on or across the backside or perching within the rockwork of the aquarium.
Sensible, powerful, quick, and resourceful, the molly miller blenny is just not one to be simply intimidated or outdone by its tankmates.
Certainly, they’re about as hardy as a marine aquarium fish will be. Captive-bred specimens are virtually bulletproof. For that reason, S. cristata will be extremely advisable as one of much first fish (if not the primary fish) in a novice aquarist’s new setup.
Molly millers are sturdy sufficient to tolerate a little bit of instability through the maturation course because the system turns into absolutely established chemically and biologically.
Small Fish, Massive Character
Beneath that powerful exterior, nonetheless, is an unusually vigorous and attention-grabbing animal.
There are particular forms of marine fishes that are inclined to develop into bona fide pets within the eyes of their keepers, and that is one in every one of them.
Possessing a substantial quantity of character, this lively little fish can be placed on fairly a present.
Whether or not doing every part they’ll to steal a few marine fish meals from a crab or squabbling with one another over a selected spot on a rock, molly miller blennies should not identify to sit down nonetheless for lengthy.
Their small measurement can also be a giant plus to some (significantly those that function nano aquaria).
Regardless of molly miller’s larger-than-life presence, it hardly ever exceeds 10 centimeters in size.
Molly Miller blenny is the Final Cleaner
Arguably, probably the most notable of its traits within the eyes of reef aquarists is its behavior of consuming pests and strong natural wastes.
The molly miller blenny has superior potential as a member of your cleanup crew. It’s, actually, the primary fish species to be captive-bred specifically as a cleaner critter.
As an algae-eater, it presents a sustainably aquacultured various to wild-caught imports, such because the lawnmower blenny.
This fish will, fortunately, mop up ugly nuisance algae and biofilms that different “herbivores” flip their noses up at.
Some have even reported that it consumes cyanobacteria! What’s extra, if hungry sufficient (and they’re all the time hungry), they can even eat detritus.
They’re most uncommon (and helpful) of their behavior of consuming the dreaded Aiptasia glass anemone.
There stays debate relating to the extent to which the pest will be managed by the fish (and, possibly even the precise motion by which this happens).
Even so, it’s fairly clear that S. cristata has an unfavorable influence on Aiptasia.
Along with consuming smaller people, the fish may additionally hurt bigger people by
(1) repeatedly disturbing them whereas grazing and
(2) competing with them by decreasing detrital meals shops.
Contemplating the risk that the hard-stinging Aiptasia makes towards corals, it is doable that by stopping a single outbreak, a number of molly millers can save a reef aquarist appreciable funding.
Because the fish cleans up its environs, make certain that it would not go hungry by supplementing its food regimen with a high-quality algae-based meal corresponding to Omega One Tremendous Veggie Kelp Pellets.
The Molly Miller Blenny Is Multi-Useful
The molly miller blenny can greatest be described as a general-use utility fish.
Capable of powerful out the typically harsh environment through the biking interval, they can be utilized together with different super-hardy species to situation new aquarium techniques.
As several types of algal plagues rear their ugly heads, the molly miller shall be there to eradicate them.
They may additionally eat detritus because it accumulates on the tank backside. Maybe most significantly, it would assist to regulate the numbers of glass anemones.
You may come to like your molly miller due to their unimaginable usefulness and charming and entertaining antics—regardless of their modest hues!
S. cristata often inhabits very shallow waters, from tide swimming pools all the way down to ~10 m (i.e., the higher photic zone).
Nonetheless, maximal inhabitants densities (comprised primarily of small and intermediate measurement courses) happen at ~2-4 m depth. On the whole, its abundance sharply decreases with rising depth.
Subsequent to the post-larval settlement, S. cristata is non-migratory. It’s primarily benthic.
It favors areas that function hiding locations within the type of stone crevices, bioconcretions (deserted snail shells, barnacle exams, and so on.), or fronds of algae.
Its boring coloration and dappled sample function camouflage in these environments.
Observations of grow-out inventory at Sustainable Aquatics counsel that it may possibly change coloration to match totally different substrata.
The place appropriate substrate cowl is ample, it sometimes reaches inhabitants densities of 0.4 to 0.9 per/m2.
Nonetheless, it has been noticed in prime habitat at densities as astonishingly excessive as 9.6 per/m2, accounting for extra biomass than that of all different resident fish species mixed.
Molly Miller blenny Diet
S. cristata exerts an unlimited effect on the trophodynamics of the habitats during which it happens.
It feeds closely on epilithic (particularly filamentous) algae; nonetheless, it’s best considered an omnivore, quite than an herbivore, given that in the middle of grazing it ingests a really large number of objects included within the epilithic algal matrix (e.g., detritus and microorganisms).
Additional, it might goal sure small sessile invertebrates (e.g., Aiptasia spp. anemones).
It has even been noticed feeding on fish carrion. In a single intestine content material evaluation, 41 totally different meal objects may very well be recognized.
S. cristata feeds primarily through the day. Its feeding exercise will increase steadily all through the morning hours, leveling off within the early afternoon, after which sharply reducing till cessation at nightfall.
Chunk frequency rises and falls with temperature.
Season and site have been discovered to affect its food regimen and feeding patterns, indicating an excessive stage of trophic versatility.
Diet of topics examined in a single research different, relying upon site and time of yr, from 25-55% algae and from 35-62% detritus.
Growth and reproduction
The fundamental grownup morphology of S. cristata is a kind of attribute of the Blenniidae. It has a compressed, elongated physique. It lacks scales.
It has massive, well-developed pectoral fins, an extended, steady dorsal fin, and decreased pelvic fins. It’s a smallish fish, reaching the most size of roughly 12 cm (although they sometimes attain solely 10 cm).
Larvae are comparatively massive, hatching at about three mm and present process metamorphosis at 10-11 mm.
Settlement happens around 30 days submit hatch at 11-18 mm. Previous to settlement, the top and pectoral fins are closely pigmented, whereas trunk pigmentation doesn’t prolong laterally far past the mid-body.
Extremely reflective blue-green pigments spotlight the eyes dorsally. Consequently, when seen from above towards a darkish backside, larvae have the curious look of tiny flies.
Little unique pectoral fin pigmentation is clear in just lately settled people.
Although its measurement hole at settlement is quite slim (~1.5 mm distinction), important discrepancies of measurement amongst juveniles are widespread even amongst people from the identical brood.
Sexual dimorphism is clear shortly after settlement. Whereas the primary anal backbone is clearly seen in males, it’s inconspicuous in females.
At >15mm, the urogenital opening varieties a papilla in males, however, is roofed by a fleshy hood in females. Nonetheless, sexual dimorphism is far more evident with additional maturity.
Males sometimes develop into darker, bigger, and extra slender, have a fuller, extra steady dorsal fin, and develop an extra conspicuous nuchal crest.
Breeding males have fleshy lateral extensions on the suggestions of the anal fin rays and bear spatulate pads on the first two anal spines.
Useful sexual maturity could also be reached in as little as 18 weeks. Some people (significantly breeding males) might set up territories and defend them with nice willpower.
Upon securing an appropriate nest site, breeding males have interaction in conspicuous swimming actions to draw the eye of females.
A female follows the male into the shelter for a quick inspection of the nest site. If happy, she is going to again in and start depositing eggs on the shelter partitions.
If there’s sufficient house throughout the shelter, the male will instantly fertilize the eggs as they’re laid.
Every clutch consists of around a number of hundred eggs; nonetheless, males are able to tend nests that embrace a number of clutches from totally different females, and so might brood a thousand or extra eggs at a time.
Information gathered from a survey of 1 Floridian inhabitants counsel that a median of 5.5 females contributes to every nest.
Molly Miller blenny Aquarium
As it’s tailored to the ever-fluctuating situations of the intertidal zone, the Molly Miller blenny makes for an exceptionally resilient aquarium fish.
Even the passably knowledgeable novice hobbyist ought to have little bother efficiently sustaining this animal in captivity.
It may be correctly housed in most sorts/sizes of the tank.
Notably, if a number of specimens are housed collectively, ample residing houses will after all be appreciated.
Nonetheless, maximal stocking density shall be decided primarily by a variety of out there hiding locations, quite than tank measurement.
To say the least, feeding Molly Miller blennies is uncomplicated.
Whereas there are few, if any, reviews of Molly Miller blennies focusing on fascinating aquarium animals, it’s price noting that they’ll probably disturb sure creatures (e.g., tridacnid clams) by their intensive grazing.
They are going to settle for nearly any type of aquarium meal that they’re offered with.
Extra notably, they have got a style for objects generally encountered by aquarists as varied pests and plagues.
Their propensity for herbivory and detritivore is above dispute. Curiously, it might be doable to make use of them to regulate Aiptasia.
Captive breeding of the Molly Miller blenny is feasible, although not simple.
Whereas it spawns readily, its larvae are fickle and demand a quite excessive stage of care; even properly practiced fish breeder Dr. Matthew Wittenrich has described its larviculture as difficult.
One main obstacle to the business scale manufacturing of this species is the comparatively great amount house required for grow-out; this aggressively territorial fish will start to endure from crowding at solely a pair months of age within the sometimes naked, unsheltered tradition atmosphere.
And, sarcastically, they’ll eat a manufacturing facility out of enterprise.
Nonetheless, the tradition of Molly Miller blennies for commerce is a worthwhile endeavor, for it presents an extra sustainable various to any wild-caught herbivore, detritivore, or Aiptasia-eater.
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