Mexican Blenny
Trambollo Mexicano
(Paraclinus mexicanus)

Mexican Blenny, Paraclinus mexicanus: The Mexican Blenny has an elongated body with a strongly mottled pink-brown coloration. It has six or seven diffuse vertical bars on the sides which are more prominent adjacent to and extending into the dorsal fin. The dorsal fin of the Mexican Blenny consists almost entirely of spines, 27 to 31 spines versus less than 3 rays, and has a black ocellated (eye-like) spot near the rear.

The head of the Mexican Blenny has a bluntly pointed snout with large lips and there is a prominent dark band below the eyes. It has thick dark bars at the base of the anal and caudal fins, and a tail with spots.

This fish species is a shallow water, diurnal, highly territorial predator that feeds mostly on bethic crustaceans including small crabs. It is not easily confused with other blennies due to its unique coloration pattern.

The Mexican Blenny is found in the first 30 feet of the water column over weed covered rocky structure. It attains a maximum length of just over 2 inches.

Distribution in Mexico fishing areas

In Mexican fishing waters the Mexican Blenny has a limited distribution, being present in the lower half of the Sea of Cortez and along the coast of the Mexican mainland south to Guatemala. It is absent from along the Pacific side of Baja California and from around the Mexican oceanic islands. Due to its size and rarity the Mexican Blenny is of limited interest to most.

The Mexican Blenny is a member of the Labrisomidae Family whose members are known in Mexico as trambollos. They are highly secretive bottom dwellers that stay close to shelter. The labrisomids form the largest and most diverse group of blennioid fishes found in Mexican waters. They are small fishes characterized by having prominent head cirri, well-developed scales, conical jaw teeth and drab colorations. At present there are approximately 100 species of Labrisomids known globally, of which 23 species are found in Mexican waters. The Mexican Blenny is of the Paraclinus Genus of which there are 21 known species of which seven are found in Mexican waters.

Mexican Blenny fish picture

Mexican Blenny fish picture

Mexican Blenny, Paraclinus mexicanus: Male (below) and female, both collected from a tidal pool at El Tule, Km. 17, Baja California Sur, Mexico, in March 2007 and February 2011. Size 1.25 cm (0.5 inch) and 4.4 cm (1.73 inches). Identification reconfirmed by Dr. Richard Rosenblatt, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, La Jolla, Calif. Dr. Rosenblatt discovered the very similar appearing and close relative of the Mexican Blenny, the Magdalena Blenny, Paraclinus magdalenae, found only in Magdalena Bay (Rosenblatt and Parr, 1969). Description and photos courtesy of John Snow.

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