Blenny (from the Greek ἡ βλέννα and τό βλέννος, mucus, slime) is a common name for a type of fish. The term is ambiguous, having been applied to several families of perciform marine, brackish, and some freshwater fish sharing similar morphology and behaviour. Six families are considered "true blennies", all grouped together under the suborder Blennioidei; its members are referred to as blennioids. About 833 species are found in 130 genera within the suborder.

Blennioids are generally small fish, with elongated bodies (some almost eel-like), and relatively large eyes and mouths. Their dorsal fins are often continuous and long; the pelvic fins typically have a single embedded spine and are short and slender, situated before the pectoral fins. The tail fin is rounded. The blunt heads of blennioids often possess elaborate whisker-like structures called cirri. As generally benthic fish, blennioids spend much of their time on or near the sea floor; many are reclusive and may burrow in sandy substrates or inhabit crevices in reefs, the lower stretches of rivers, or even empty mollusc shells.

These fish are superficially quite similar to members of the goby and dragonet families, as well as several other unrelated families whose members have occasionally been given the name "blenny".

The six "true blenny" families are:

Ophioblennius steindachneri
Ophioblennius steindachneri
Australian blenny
Ecsenius axelrodi from East Timor
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Suborder: Blennioidei


Timeline of genera

Salarias sinuosus (Fringelip blenny)

Salarias sinuosus, the Fringelip Blenny

Blenny hiding in a hole near Gilli Lawa Laut, Indonesia

Blenny hiding in a hole near Gilli Lawa Laut, Indonesia

Parablennius tasmanianus

Tasmanian Blenny in Port Noarlunga, South Australia

Blenny in kona 1

Blenny in Kona, Hawaii


Blenny in Kona, Hawaii

Blenny in Kona 2008 4

Blenny in Kona, Hawaii

Blenny Hawaii

Blenny in Kona, Hawaii


BulletHead RockSkipper in Kona

Marbled Blenny Entomacrodus marmoratus

Marbled Blenny, Entomacrodus marmoratus in Kona


  • "Blennioidei". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 4 April 2008.
  • Sepkoski, Jack (2002). "A compendium of fossil marine animal genera". Bulletins of American Paleontology. 364: 560. Archived from the original on 2009-02-20. Retrieved 2011-05-19.

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