The Tube Blenny Family – Chaenopsidae
There are currently four members of the Tube Blenny or Chaenopsidae Family, all from the Pacific, presented in this website:
The fish of the Tube Blenny or Chaenopsidae family are known in Mexico’s fishing areas as trambollos tubícolas. The family includes the Barnacle Blennies, the Pike Blennies, the Signal Blennies, the Tube Blennies, and the Worm Blennies. The Tube Blennies are only found in the tropical and subtropical oceanic waters of North and South America. Globally the family has eighty-two species that have been placed in thirteen genera, of which thirty species are found in Mexican oceanic waters, twelve in the Atlantic and eighteen in the Pacific.
The Tube Blennies have elongated bodies and are small in stature measuring up to 16.0 cm (6.3 inches) in length. Their head can be spiny or rough with cirri around the nostrils and eyes. Their mouth extends past the eyes. They have canine or incisor teeth in the front which are found on the center or roof of the mouth. Their dorsal fin has a long base and is continuous without a notch; it may or may not be continuous with the caudal fin. Their dorsal fin has 17 to 28 spines and 10 to 38 rays and most have more spines than rays. Their anal fin has two spines and a long base. Their pelvic fins are inserted before the pectoral fins. They have no lateral line or scales.
The Tube Blennies are found in unoccupied barnacles shells or worm and mollusks tubes in and around rocky reefs or coral areas. They prey upon zooplankton including amphipods, copepods, and isopods. Many are sexually dimorphic with most males being more brightly colored than females and having large eye cirri, longer jaws, and higher dorsal fins. Reproduction is oviparous with females depositing eggs in protected areas which are guarded by males until hatching.
The Tube Blennies are of limited interest to most primarily due to their small size, however, many are of interest to underwater photographers due to their various colorations and their accessibility in shallow water habitats.