<i>Lance Blenny, Aspidontus dussumieri</i> Click to enlarge image
A Lance Blenny, Aspidontus dussumieri, at a depth of 10m, Gordon's Bay, Sydney, New South Wales, March 2003. Image: Erik Schlögl
© Erik Schlögl

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    dussumieri
    Genus
    Aspidontus
    Family
    Blenniidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 12 cm in length.

Introduction

Despite having a large fang on either side of the lower jaw the Lance Blenny seems to eat primarily algae and detritus.

Identification

The Lance Blenny is white with a dark stripe from the eye to the caudal fin. It has an elongate body with a long-based dorsal fin. The mouth is positioned ventrally below the rounded snout. There is a large fang on either side of the lower jaw.

The Lance Blenny looks similar to the False Cleanerfish but can be distinguished by snout shape and the colour of the stripe on the head behind the eye. The Lance Blenny has a rounded snout with a plain brown stripe behind the eye. False Cleanerfish have a pointed snout and a bluish stripe usually with dark margins.

Habitat

The species lives in tropical marine waters.

Distribution

It occurs in throughout the Indo-Pacific. In Australia it is known from the central to north-western coasts of Western Australia and from the northern coast of Queensland to central New South Wales.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.



Feeding and diet

Limited data suggests that the species eats primarily algae and detritus.

References

  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
  2. Allen, G.R., Steene, R. & M. Allen. 1998. A Guide to Angelfishes & Butterflyfishes. Odyssey Publishing/Tropical Reef Research. Pp. 250.
  3. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  5. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  6. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.