Main identification features
- snout and lips grey or red
- body: dark saddles, blue dots
Pointed or blunt spines on snout & under eye; 2 rows of well developed teeth on roof of mouth; top of head behind eyes covered with short spines; inner row of spines between eyes on a bony ridge; eye cirrus varies from unbranched to branched once; dorsal XXII-XXV, 11-14; anal II, 23-26; pectoral 12-14 (usually 13) rays.
Color variable; body varies from dark brown, to black to translucent with bars; small blue spots on head & body; top lip with 1-2 pairs iridescent blue spots; mating males with black wash over head, body & fins, with red lips, snout and upper front of dorsal fin.
Size: 3.8 cm.
Habitat: barnacles and worm tubes on rocky shores.
Depth: 0-30 m.
Only at Cocos Island.
Cites: Not listed.
Climate Zone: Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo).
Depth Range Max: 30 m.
Depth Range Min: 0 m.
Diet: mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs); zooplankton; pelagic fish eggs.
Eastern Pacific Range: Northern limit=6; Southern limit=6; Western limit=-88; Eastern limit=-87; Latitudinal range=1; Longitudinal range=1.
Egg Type: Benthic; Pelagic larva.
Feeding Group: Carnivore; Planktivore.
FishBase Habitat: Reef Associated.
Global Endemism: Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic; East Pacific endemic; All species.
Habitat: Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom); Rocks; Reef (rock &/or coral); Barnacles & worm tubes; Reef only.
Inshore Offshore: Inshore; Inshore Only.
IUCN Red List: Not evaluated / Listed.
Length Max: 3.8 cm.
Regional Endemism: Island (s) only; Island (s); TEP endemic; TEP oceanic island (s) endemic; Cocos Island endemic; All species.
Salinity: Marine; Marine Only.
Water Column Position: Bottom; Bottom only;
Links to other sites|
- Hastings , P.A. and Robertson, D.R., 1999., Acanthemblemaria atrata and Acanthemblemaria mangognatha, New Species of Eastern Pacific Barnacle Blennies (Chaenopsidae) from Isla del Coco, Costa Rica, and Islas Revillagigedo, Mexico, and their Relationships with other Barnacle Blennies., Revue Francaise de Aquariologie, 25:107-118.
- Hastings, P.A., 2000., Biogeography of the Tropical Eastern Pacific: distribution and phylogeny of chaenopsid fishes., Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 128:319-335.
I thank Ashley MacDonald and John Pickering, University of Georgia, for technical support in building this page.
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Cocos barnacle blenny
Common name (e.g. trout)
Genus + Species (e.g. Gadus morhua)
Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) >
(Pike-, tube- and flagblennies)
Greek, akantha = thorn + Greek, emblema, -atos, anything that is nailed, knocked in; also anything with bass or high relief (Ref.
Name from Latin meaning 'dressed in black', referring to its unique dark color morhp (Ref.
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; demersal; depth range 5 - 31 m (Ref.
Eastern Central Pacific: Cocos Island (Costa Rica).
Size / Weight / Age
range ? - ? cm
Max length : 3.2 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref.
); 3.2 cm SL (female)
(total): 22 - 25;
: 23 - 26;
: 40 - 43. This species is distinguished by the following characters: 1-2 pairs of large iridescent blue spots on the upper lip; relatively small body size; 2 common pores (sensory pores between the mandibular and preopercular series); a closed wedge of spines on the posterior part of the frontal; 2 rows of interorbital spines, the outer one continuous; D XXII-XXV,11-14 (35-37 total dorsal-fin elements; A II,23-26 (Ref.
A small benthic reef fish which is common in shallow water, but also occurs to depths of at least 31 meters (Ref.
). Oviparous (Ref.
). Eggs are attached to the walls of the parent's shelter and are brooded by the male parent (Ref.
Life cycle and mating behavior
). Males guard the eggs until they hatch (Ref.
Hastings, P.A. and D.R. Robertson
, new species of eastern Pacific barnacle blennies (Chaenopsidae) from Isla de Coco, Costa Rica, and Islas Revillagigedo, Mexico, and their relationships with other barnacle blennies. Rev. fr. Aquariol 25(3-4):107-118. (Ref.
IUCN Red List Status (Ref.
Threat to humans
Stamps, Coins Misc.
Check for Aquarium maintenance
Check for Species Fact Sheets
Check for Aquaculture Fact Sheets
Websites from users
Catalog of Fishes
) | GloBI |
| IGFA World Record |
Otolith Atlas of Taiwan Fishes
| Reef Life Survey |
Tree of Life
) | World Records Freshwater Fishing |
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref.
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00457 (0.00182 - 0.01148), b=3.08 (2.86 - 3.30), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref.
Trophic Level (Ref.
): 3.3 ±0.4 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months ().
): Low vulnerability (10 of 100) .
Garilao, Cristina V.
Capuli, Estelita Emily
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- 20 July 2016
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