Australian Blenny, Ecsenius australianus

The Australian blenny (Ecsenius australianus) can be found in the Pacific Ocean, in the Coral Islands and Great Barrier Reef. Although its range is limited to the northern areas of the Great Barrier Reef, it is possible that, due to climate changes, that range may extend south.

The Australian blenny is small, with a body length of only 2.4 inches. The back of this fish is reddish brown in color, while the stomach area is white, and running from the rear end to the gill covering there are two stripes that are burnished in color. These stripes have white spots. These stripes may vary in color for each individual, but the stripes at the tail end fades to grey. The anal fin has two spines and fifteen to seventeen softer rays, while the dorsal fin has twelve spins and thirteen to fifteen rays. The pectoral fin will typically have thirteen soft rays, but it can have fourteen, and the tail fin has fourteen rays. The Australian blenny known as oviparous which means that, like most fish, it will lay eggs. These eggs will stick to the bottom of the body of water they are produced in and develop there.

Victor G. Springer first described the Australian blenny in 1988. He thought it was most closely related to E. fourmanoiri due to a large number of similarities including stripe colors. Specimens of the Australian blenny also resembled E. opsifrontalis. The Australian blenny is different from the fish in that the spines and rays that make up its fins number differently, as well as the vertebrae.

Image Caption: Australian blenny (Ecsenius axelrodi) in East Timor. Credit: Nick Hobgood/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)