Istiblennius zebra (Vaillant & Sauvage, 1875)
Zebra blenny
photo by Randall, J.E.

Family:  Blenniidae (Combtooth blennies), subfamily: Salariinae
Max. size:  19.3 cm SL (male/unsexed); 14.1 cm SL (female)
Environment:  reef-associated
Distribution:  Oceania: known only from the Hawaiian Islands.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 12-14; Dorsal soft rays (total): 20-23; Anal spines: 2; Anal soft rays: 21-23. Dorsal fin XII-XIV, 20-23 (usually XIII), membrane between spinous- and segmented-ray portions notched more than half length of first segmented ray; membrane from posteriormost ray attaching to point ranging from dorsal edge of caudal peduncle to point out on dorsal edge of caudal fin; anal fin II, 21 to 23; pectoral-fin rays 13 to 15; vertebrae 10 or 11+28 to 30; nape cirrus absent; orbital cirrus slender, stalk-like, tapering distally, usually simple, occasionally with tiny branches at tip, longer than eye diameter (up to 2.5x diameter) in males >5 cm SL, varying from slightly less to slightly greater in length than eye diameter in females >5 cm SL; nasal cirri short, usually simple flap in specimens under 5 cm SL, highly variable in larger specimens, ranging from simple flap to irregularly palmate or pinnate, rarely with as many as 10 distinct tips. Continuous lateral line canal anterodorsally with simple, nonvertically paired pores, extending posteriorly to point between verticals from 7th and 10th (usually between 8th and 9th) dorsal-fin spines, then descending to midside and continuing posteriorly up to little more than half distance to caudal-fin base as series of 2 to 15 (usually 4 to 13) short, disconnected, horizontally bi-pored canals (tubes) in skin (posteriormost tube lying between verticals from 10th dorsal-fin spine and 1lth segmented ray); mandibular pores 4 to 6; posterior dentary canines absent; ventral margin of upper lip generally entire, often with crenulae-like pads on inner (buccal) surface; margin sometimes finely crenulate laterally; dorsal margin of lower lip crenulate, crenulae sometimes restricted to lateral margins, often absent in specimens <3.5 cm SL; males and females with fleshy, blade-like crest dorsally on head; most specimens over about 6 cm SL generally dark overall with few distinctive markings. Male max. size 15 cm SL; female max. size 14.1 cm SL.
Biology:  Adults occur along exposed rocky shores from the highest tide pools to the surf zone. Exposed to great fluctuations in temperature, salinity, oxygen content and pH (Ref. 205). Benthic (Ref. 58302). Very agile with remarkable leaping ability, moving rapidly in a series of jumps from pool to pool. Feed on detritus and benthic algae (Ref. 3921). Oviparous. Eggs are demersal and adhesive (Ref. 205), and are attached to the substrate via a filamentous, adhesive pad or pedestal (Ref. 94114). Larvae are planktonic, often found in shallow, coastal waters (Ref. 94114). With Ophioblennius stage (Ref. 9962).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 27 March 2009 Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Torres, Armi G. - 15.04.93
Modified by: Luna, Susan M. - 05.02.14
Checked by: Williams, Jeffrey T. - 05.10.95

Source and more info: For personal, classroom, and other internal use only. Not for publication.

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