Blennies are a diverse group of highly personably small reef fish and in the past weeks we’ve enjoyed many new species getting officially recognized. These range from the diminutive tube blennies to the bright faced glass blennies and one species in particular gets split off from a popular reef aquarium species from the Pacific Ocean.
We haven’t spotlighted many blennies over the years but one species that has been elevated to post-worthy status is the beautiful scarface blenny, Cirripectes vanderbilti from Hawaii and now formerly from a large swath of the central Pacific Ocean. Upon further examination of the scarface blenny it has become clear that the populations from Pitcairn, Tuamotu, and Marquesas are a different species now known as Cirripectes matatakaro.
Next up is the freshly minted tube blenny from the Caribbean coast of South America now known as Acanthemblemaria aceroi. The ‘Blue Spotted Barnacle Blenny’ is a tiny nano size species so it must have taken some very close and thorough examination to notice that this fish is a new species. As with other species in its genus, A. aceroi is found in vacant tests of barnacles which is perfect for a group of fish that barely cracks more than an inch long.
Lastly we have two new species of glass blennies which are quite similar in appearance to the barnacle blennies insofar as being very small and living in small tubes but many of the Emblemariopsis have colorful head but a transparent body. The two new glass blennies are Emblemariopsis lancea from Dominica and St. Vincent and Emblemariopsis falcon from Venezuela. Both of the new species of glass blennies sport a colorful red-edged black dorsal fin but the males of E. lancea have a gorgeous dark face when in nuptial coloration while E. falcon has a lighter colored face but with attractive black and white stripes across the mouth and gills.