Threefin blenny

Last updated

Threefin blennies
Notoclinops caerulepunctus (Blue dot triplefin).jpg
Blue dot triplefin
Notoclinops caerulepunctus
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Blenniiformes
Family: Tripterygiidae
Whitley, 1931

See text

Threefin or triplefin blennies are blenniiforms, small percomorph marine fish of the family Tripterygiidae. Found in tropical and temperate waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, the family contains about 150 species in 30 genera. The family name derives from the Greek tripteros meaning "with three wings".


With an elongated, typical blenny form, threefin blennies differ from their relatives by having a dorsal fin separated into three parts (hence the name); the first two are spinous. The small, slender pelvic fins are located underneath the throat and possess a single spine; the large anal fin may have one or two spines. The pectoral fins are greatly enlarged, and the tail fin is rounded. The New Zealand topknot, Notoclinus fenestratus, is the largest species at 20 cm in total length; most other species do not exceed 6 cm.

Many threefin blennies are brightly coloured, often for reasons of camouflage; these species are popular in the aquarium hobby. As demersal fish, threefin blennies spend most of their time on or near the bottom on coral and rocks. The fish are typically found in shallow, clear waters with sun exposure, such as lagoons and seaward reefs; nervous fish, they retreat to rock crevices at any perceived threat.

Threefin blennies are diurnal and territorial; many species exhibit sexual dichromatism, with the females drab compared to the males. The second dorsal fin is also extended in the males of some species. Small invertebrates comprise the bulk of the threefin blenny diet.


FishBase lists about 150 species in 30 genera:

Yellow-and-black triplefin
Forsterygion flavonigrum Fosterygion flavonigrum (Yellow & black triplefin).jpg
Yellow-and-black triplefin
Forsterygion flavonigrum
Blue-eyed triplefin
Notoclinops segmentatus Notoclinops segmentatus (Blue-eyed triplefin).jpg
Blue-eyed triplefin
Notoclinops segmentatus


QuaternaryNeogenePaleogeneHolocenePleist.Plio.MioceneOligoceneEocenePaleoceneTripterygionQuaternaryNeogenePaleogeneHolocenePleist.Plio.MioceneOligoceneEocenePaleoceneThreefin blenny

Related Research Articles

Percidae Family of fishes

The Percidae are a family of ray-finned fish, part of the order Perciformes, which are found in fresh and brackish waters of the Northern Hemisphere. The majority are Nearctic, but there are also Palearctic species. The family contains more than 200 species in 11 genera. The perches, and their relatives are in this family; well-known species include the walleye, sauger, ruffe, and three species of perch. However, small fish known as darters are also a part of this family.

Scorpaenidae Family of fishes

The Scorpaenidae are a family of mostly marine fish that includes many of the world's most venomous species. As their name suggests, scorpionfish have a type of "sting" in the form of sharp spines coated with venomous mucus. The family is a large one, with hundreds of members.They are widespread in tropical and temperate seas, but mostly found in the Indo-Pacific. They should not be confused with the cabezones, of the genus Scorpaenichthys, which belong to a separate, though related, family, Cottidae.

Combtooth blenny Family of fishes

Combtooth blennies are blenniiformids; percomorph marine fish of the family Blenniidae, part of the order Blenniiformes. They are the largest family of blennies with around 401 known species in 58 generas. Combtooth blennies are found in tropical and subtropical waters in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans; some species are also found in brackish and even freshwater environments.

Labrisomid Family of fishes

Labrisomids are small blennioids (blennies), percomorph marine fish belonging to the family Labrisomidae. Found mostly in the tropical Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, the family contains about 110 species in 15 genera.

Clinidae Family of fishes

Clinidae is a family of marine fish in the order Blenniiformes within the series Ovalentaria, part of the Percomorpha. Temperate blennies, the family ranges from the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, in both the Southern and Northern Hemispheres. The family contains about 86 species in 20 genera, the 60-cm-long giant kelpfish being the largest; most are far smaller.

Blenniiformes Order of fishes

Blenny is a common name many types of fish, including several families of percomorph marine, brackish, and some freshwater fish sharing similar morphology and behaviour. Six families are considered "true blennies", grouped under the order Blenniiformes; its members are referred to as blenniiformids. About 151 genera and nearly 900 species have been described within the order. The order was formerly classified as a suborder of the Perciformes but the 5th Edition of Fishes of the World divided the Perciformes into a number of new orders and the Blenniiformes were placed in the percomorph clade Ovalentaria alongside the such taxa as Cichliformes, Mugiliformes and Gobiesociformes.

Old World silverside Family of fishes

The Old World silversides are a family, Atherinidae, of fish in the order Atheriniformes. They occur worldwide in tropical and temperate waters. About two-thirds of the species are marine, and the remainder live in fresh water. The 74 species are in 13 genera. The genus Craterocephalus is the most diverse with 25 species. Four genera are monotypic.

Terapontidae Family of fishes

Grunters or tigerperches are ray-finned fishes in the family Terapontidae. This family is part of the superfamily Percoidea of the order Perciformes.

<i>Helcogramma</i> Genus of fishes

Helcogramma is a genus in the triplefin family Tripterygiidae. The blennies in the genus Helcogramma are found throughout the Indo-Pacific and in the South Atlantic Ocean off the islands of St Helena and Ascension.

<i>Notoclinops</i> Genus of fishes

Notoclinops is the name of a genus of triplefins in the family Tripterygiidae from New Zealand.

<i>Enneapterygius</i> Genus of fishes

Enneapterygius is a genus of fish in the family Tripterygiidae found in the Indian and Pacific Ocean.

<i>Norfolkia</i> Genus of fishes

Norfolkia is a genus of triplefins in the family Tripterygiidae. They are found I the Indo-Pacific region.

<i>Springerichthys</i> Genus of fishes

Springerichthys is a genus of triplefins in the family Tripterygiidae. The two species in this genus are found in the western Pacific Ocean.

Enneapterygius bahasa, blacktail triplefin, also known as the blacktail threefin in Australia, is a species of threefin blenny in the genus Enneapterygius. It was described by German ichthyologist Ronald Fricke in 1997, and earns its common name from its black caudal fins. It is known from reefs in the western Pacific Ocean.

<i>Enneapterygius mirabilis</i> Species of fish

Enneapterygius mirabilis, the miracle triplefin, is a species of triplefin blenny in the genus Enneapterygius. It was described by Ronald Fricke in 1994 who gave it the specific name mirabilis, meaning "admirable", because its notable large pectoral fins and first dorsal fin were pretty.

Enneapterygius ventermaculus, the blotched triplefin or Pakistan triplefin, is a species of triplefin blenny in the genus Enneapterygius. It was described by Wouter Holleman in 1982.

Eastern jumping blenny Species of fish

Lepidoblennius haplodactylus, known commonly as the eastern jumping blenny, is a species of triplefin blenny in the genus Lepidoblennius. It was described by Franz Steindachner in 1867 and is the type species of the genus Lepidoblennius.

Western jumping blenny Species of fish

Lepidoblennius marmoratus, known commonly as the western jumping blenny, is a species of triplefin blenny in the genus Lepidoblennius. It was first described by William John Macleay in 1878.

Scalyhead triplefin Species of fish

Norfolkia squamiceps, known commonly as the Scalyhead triplefin, is a species of triplefin blenny in the genus Norfolkia. It was described by Allan Riverstone McCulloch and Edgar Ravenswood Waite in 1916. Under the synonym Norfolkia lairdi it was the type species of Fowler's new genus. This species has been recorded from off Queensland, Norfolk Island, Lord Howe Island, New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands. The adults occur in tidal pools among areas of coral reef.

Owstonia is a genus of marine ray-finned fish belonging to the family Cepolidae, the bandfishes. It is the only genus in the monotypic subfamily Owstoninae. They are found in deep-waters of the Indian and Pacific Ocean.