Ringneck Blenny – Parablennius pilicornis

The Ringneck Blenny is a species in the order of the Blennioidei and thus belongs to the superclass of the bony fish. Parablennius pilicornis was first described in 1829 by Cuvier.

Ringneck Blenny Parablennius Pilicornis Blennioidei Osteichthyes species diving canary islands atlantic ocean bony fish
Ringneck Blenny – Parablennius pilicornis


The body of the Ringneck Blenny is elongated. Above each eye are five filiform “tentacles”. There are variants, as in the picture above, with light basic colouration, brown to black pattern and two dark stripes at the bottom of the head. Sometimes the black pattern forms an almost continuous, elongated strip. On the head is a great, bright blue texture to see.

There is also a yellow variant. This is occuring exclusively for females.

An overview of the various colour versions can be found here.

Parablennius pilicornis reaches up to 12.7cm in length.

Habitat and Distribution

The Ringneck Blenny is benthic, mostly in shallow water down to 6m. However, it can also be found down to 27m. It prefers steep rock and coral reefs and tide pools with a lot of water movement.

When diving in the Canaries you can observe it frequently.

In addition, its distribution area extends across both sides of the Atlantic, the Mediterranean Sea and the western Indian Ocean. In the eastern Atlantic it is found from the Spanish coast to South Africa, in the western Atlantic from Brazil to Argentina.


Parablennius pilicornis feeds on algae, invertebrates like polychaete and small crustaceans.

Males are very dark, almost black at the time of spawning. The eggs are deposited on the ground and glued to the rock with a filiform, sticky substance. Larvae live planktonic near the coast.








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