Baja Blenny

Baja Blenny, Labrisomus wigginsi

The Baja Blenny, Labrisomus wigginsi, whose common Spanish name is trambollo bajacaliforniano, is a species in the Labrisomid Blenny or Labrisomidae Family, known collectively as trambollos in Mexico. Globally, there are twenty-seven species in the genus Labrisomus, of which thirteen are found in Mexican waters, nine in the Atlantic and four in the Pacific.

The Baja Blennies have robust bodies. They have an overall brown coloration with a mottled head and four bars on their body, three under their spiny dorsal ray and one under their eighth dorsal ray, that extend into their dorsal fin. Some fish have an ocellus spot on their dorsal fin between the two front bars. Their anal fin is dark with a lighter margin and their pectoral fins have dark bars. Their head is broad with a blunt snout, large eyes, a slightly oblique mouth with small teeth on both sides, nostrils with cirri, a branched cirrus over each eye, and several heavily branched cirri on each side of their nape. Their anal fin has two spines and 16 or 17 rays; their caudal fin is square; their dorsal fin has 17 or 18 spines, with the first spine being the longest, and 10 to 12 rays; and their modestly-sized pelvic fins are inserted before the pectoral fins. They have a limited number of small smooth scales.

The Baja Blennies are a shallow water coastal species found within weed covered rocky areas and tidal pools at depths up to 15 feet. They reach a maximum length of 9.0 cm (3.5 inches). Reproduction is oviparous with females depositing eggs in protected areas.

In Mexican waters the Baja Blennny has a very limited distribution being found only along the central portions of the west coast of Baja.

The Baja Blenny is most likely confused with the Largemouth Blenny, Labrisomus xanti (head and body covered with small dense white spots) and the Porehead Blenny, Labrisomus multiporosus (heavily mottled coloration).

The Baja Blennies are seldom seen by humans and are of limited interest to most due to their size and obscurity.

Baja Blenny (1)

Baja Blenny (2)

Baja Blenny, Labrisomus wigginsi. Two fish (photos two and three are of the same fish) caught out off the beach at La Bocana, Baja California Sur, April 2016. Length: 8.1 cm (3.2 inches) each. Catch and photos courtesy of George Brinkman, Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Identifications courtesy of Dr. Phil Hastings, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA.