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Ophioblennius steindachneri, Large-banded Blenny. Scott W. Michael

Family: Blenniidae

Species in Genus Ophioblennius:


Reference: A PocketExpert Guide to Reef Aquarium Fishes
Image credit: SWM
Text credit: SWM


The members of this genus have a blunt head, cirri over the eyes, on the nape and near the nostrils, and large lips. They have large, nasty fangs far back in the lower jaw that are are used in territorial defense. To feed, they use their expandable jaws to rasp algae and micro-invertebrates off hard substrates.

Food-habit studies have shown that they feed almost entirely on algae (including green filamentous algae, blue-green algae [cyanobacteria] and diatoms) and detritus.

They get relatively large and are highly territorial, excluding members of their own kind as well as other species that feed on algae or try to enter their preferred hiding places. In the aquarium, they will chase or dash out to nip other fishes that enter their territory. In some cases, they may even kill smaller fishes.

Keep this fish with tankmates that are at least twice its length. Even then, the blennies may bite them. Larger individuals are usually more aggressive than smaller specimens. Keep only one per tank, unless you have a larger aquarium and you can find a male-female pair.

Facts about OphioblenniusRDF feed
Family Blenniidae  +
Image credit SWM  +
Reference A PocketExpert Guide to Reef Aquarium Fishes  +
Text credit SWM  +