Mexican Blenny

Mexican Blenny, Paraclinus mexicanus

The Mexican Blenny, Paraclinus mexicanus, whose common Spanish name is trambollito mexicano, is a species in the family Labrisomidae, the Labrisomid Blennies, known as trambollos in Mexico. Globally, there are 23 species in the genus Paraclinus, of which 13 are found in Mexican waters, five in the Atlantic and eight in the Pacific.

The Mexican Blennies have elongated bodies with a uniform depth throughout that tapers gradually at the rear into the tail. They are heavily mottled in green and brown with six or seven diffuse bars on their sides that extend into the dorsal fin and are more prominent adjacent to it. They have a prominent white edged oblique dark bar below their eyes and a black ocellated spot on the rear of their dorsal fin. Their anal and dorsal fins have thick dark bars and their caudal fin is spotted. Their head has a bluntly pointed snout, large eyes and lips, and a branched cirrus on the nostril and over each eye. Their mouth is large and opens at the front. Their anal fin has two spines and 17 to 20 rays; their caudal fin is square; and their dorsal fin has 17 to 21 spines and up to two rays with a deep notch in between the third and fourth spines. They are covered with small smooth scales.

The Mexican Blennies are a shallow water coastal species found within weed-covered rocky shores at depths up to 35 feet. They reach a maximum length of 6.0 cm (2.4 inches). They are diurnal highly territorial predators that feed mostly on benthic crustaceans including small crabs. Reproduction is oviparous with females depositing eggs in protected areas. In Mexican waters they are found in the lower half of the Sea of Cortez and along the coast of the mainland north of Acapulco; they are absent from the Pacific Coast of Baja. Very little is known about their behavioral patterns.

The Mexican Blenny is not easily confused with any other Blenny due to its unique coloration pattern.

Due to their size and rarity, the Mexican Blennies are of limited interest to most.

Mexican Blenny, Male, Paraclinus mexicanus: Fish caught out of coastal tidal pool, April 2015, Mazatlán, Sinola, April 2015. Length: 5.8 cm (2.3 inches). Catch and photo courtesy of George Brinkman, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
Mexican Blenny, Male, Paraclinus mexicanus: Fish caught out of coastal tidal pool, April 2015, Mazatlán, Sinola, April 2015. Length: 5.8 cm (2.3 inches). Catch and photo courtesy of George Brinkman, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
Mexican Blenny, Male, Paraclinus mexicanus: Fish collected from a tidal pool at Km 17, El Tule, Baja California Sur, March 2007. Length: 1.25 cm (0.5 inch). Identification courtesy of Dr. Richard Rosenblatt, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA.
Mexican Blenny, Male, Paraclinus mexicanus: Fish collected from a tidal pool at Km 17, El Tule, Baja California Sur, March 2007. Length: 1.25 cm (0.5 inch). Identification courtesy of Dr. Richard Rosenblatt, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA.
Mexican Blenny, Female, Paraclinus mexicanus: Fish collected from a tidal pool at Km 17, El Tule, Baja California Sur, February 2011. Length: 4.4 cm (1.7 inches). Identification courtesy of Dr. Richard Rosenblatt, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA.
Mexican Blenny, Female, Paraclinus mexicanus: Fish collected from a tidal pool at Km 17, El Tule, Baja California Sur, February 2011. Length: 4.4 cm (1.7 inches). Identification courtesy of Dr. Richard Rosenblatt, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA.