Hairy Blenny – Labrisomus nuchipinnis

The Hairy Blenny is a species in the large clade of Percomorpha and thus belongs to the superclass of the bony fish.

Hairy Blenny - Labrisomus nuchipinnis Osteichthyes bony fish diving canary islands species atlantic
Hairy Blenny – Labrisomus nuchipinnis
Copyright: Martin Majewski


The body shape of Labrisomus nuchipinnis is elongated. His head is very large. It has a white body with irregular, black vertical stripes. The fins of the Hairy Blenny are yellow, the head orange, and the eyes turquoise-blue with orange pupil. At the base of the side fin is a black point.
It reaches a maximum size of 23cm.

Habitat and Distribution

Labrisomus nuchipinnis prefers rocky soils with algae growth and hiding places or sea grass meadows down to a maximum depth of 10m.

When diving in the Canaries it is rarely encountered.

Its distribution area spreads in the western Atlantic from Bermuda, via Florida, the Bahamas, the northern Gulf of Mexico, all the way to Brazil. In the eastern Atlantic the Hairy Blenny is also found from Madeira, along the west coast of Africa, to Guinea.


Males have a territory which they defend against other male breeders.

The reproduction of Labrisomus nuchipinnis is divided into three phases. First of all, they are looking for a suitable partner. The second thing is the agitation and soothing by prods. This step is initiated by the female. As a third, the female rubs her body at the spawn, wiggles her anterior fin, while the dorsal fin stands upright. During this time the male remains erect, bites the body, the dorsal fin, and in the upper part of the head of the female. Sometimes he strokes her with his tail fin.

Seed and egg release are done by intensive mating. After the love game the male drives off his female and protects the eggs until they hatch. The larvae of the Hairy Blenny live pelagic until the juvenile stage.

The diet of Labrisomus nuchipinnis consists of small crustaceans, snails, echinoderms, small fish and Polychaetes.

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