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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".
The Percomorpha is a large clade of bony fish that includes the tuna, seahorses, gobies, cichlids, flatfish, wrasse, perches, anglerfish, and pufferfish.
Fish are gill-bearing aquatic craniate animals that lack limbs with digits. They form a sister group to the tunicates, together forming the olfactores. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish as well as various extinct related groups. Tetrapods emerged within lobe-finned fishes, so cladistically they are fish as well. However, traditionally fish are rendered paraphyletic by excluding the tetrapods. Because in this manner the term "fish" is defined negatively as a paraphyletic group, it is not considered a formal taxonomic grouping in systematic biology, unless it is used in the cladistic sense, including tetrapods. The traditional term pisces is considered a typological, but not a phylogenetic classification.
The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest of the world's oceans, with an area of about 106,460,000 square kilometers. It covers approximately 20 percent of the Earth's surface and about 29 percent of its water surface area. It separates the "Old World" from the "New World".
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.
A dorsal fin is a fin located on the back of most marine and freshwater vertebrates such as fishes, cetaceans, and the (extinct) ichthyosaur. Most species have only one dorsal fin, but some have two or three.
The New Zealand topknot, Notoclinus fenestratus, is a triplefin of the genus Notoclinus, found around the North Island of New Zealand in reef areas of broken rock and brown seaweed.
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.
Camouflage is the use of any combination of materials, coloration, or illumination for concealment, either by making animals or objects hard to see (crypsis), or by disguising them as something else (mimesis). Examples include the leopard's spotted coat, the battledress of a modern soldier, and the leaf-mimic katydid's wings. A third approach, motion dazzle, confuses the observer with a conspicuous pattern, making the object visible but momentarily harder to locate. The majority of camouflage methods aim for crypsis, often through a general resemblance to the background, high contrast disruptive coloration, eliminating shadow, and countershading. In the open ocean, where there is no background, the principal methods of camouflage are transparency, silvering, and countershading, while the ability to produce light is among other things used for counter-illumination on the undersides of cephalopods such as squid. Some animals, such as chameleons and octopuses, are capable of actively changing their skin pattern and colours, whether for camouflage or for signalling. It is possible that some plants use camouflage to evade being eaten by herbivores.
An aquarium is a vivarium of any size having at least one transparent side in which aquatic plants or animals are kept and displayed. Fishkeepers use aquaria to keep fish, invertebrates, amphibians, aquatic reptiles such as turtles, and aquatic plants. The term "aquarium", coined by English naturalist Philip Henry Gosse, combines the Latin root aqua, meaning water, with the suffix -arium, meaning "a place for relating to". The aquarium principle was fully developed in 1850 by the chemist Robert Warington, who explained that plants added to water in a container would give off enough oxygen to support animals, so long as the numbers of animals did not grow too large. The aquarium craze was launched in early Victorian England by Gosse, who created and stocked the first public aquarium at the London Zoo in 1853, and published the first manual, The Aquarium: An Unveiling of the Wonders of the Deep Sea in 1854. An aquarium is a water-filled tank in which fish swim about. Small aquariums are kept in the home by hobbyists. There are larger public aquariums in many cities. This kind of aquarium is a building with fish and other aquatic animals in large tanks. A large aquarium may have otters, turtles, dolphins, and other sea animals. Most aquarium tanks also have plants.
Demersal fish live and feed on or near the bottom of seas or lakes. They occupy the sea floors and lake beds, which usually consist of mud, sand, gravel or rocks. In coastal waters they are found on or near the continental shelf, and in deep waters they are found on or near the continental slope or along the continental rise. They are not generally found in the deepest waters, such as abyssal depths or on the abyssal plain, but they can be found around seamounts and islands. The word demersal comes from the Latin demergere, which means to sink.
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.
Sexual dimorphism is the condition where the two sexes of the same species exhibit different characteristics beyond the differences in their sexual organs. The condition occurs in many animals and some plants. Differences may include secondary sex characteristics, size, weight, color, markings, and may also include behavioral and cognitive differences. These differences may be subtle or exaggerated, and may be subjected to sexual selection. The opposite of dimorphism is monomorphism.
Invertebrates are animals that neither possess nor develop a vertebral column, derived from the notochord. This includes all animals apart from the subphylum Vertebrata. Familiar examples of invertebrates include arthropods, mollusks, annelids, and cnidarians.
FishBase lists about 150 species in 30 genera:
Ronald Fricke is a German ichthyologist and researcher of biodiversity at the State Museum of Natural History Stuttgart. As of 2018, Fricke authored 10 species within the families of Callionymidae, Gobiesocidae and Ophichthidae.
Notoclinus is a genus of triplefins in the family Tripterygiidae.
Acanthanectes is a genus of triplefins in the family Tripterygiidae. It contains two described species at present.
George Herbert Allen was an American ichthyologist and fisheries scientist. His father was a US Consul and they family moved to Calgary with his father's posting in 1927 and George remained there until he went to the University of Wyoming as an undergraduate where he graduated before entering the military during the Second World War. After the war he completed his Master's degree and Doctorate at the University of Washington in 1956, where he met his wife, Beverly Robinson. He started a position at the Humboldt State University an association which was to last over 30 years, ending his career as a Professor of Fisheries. At HSU he played an important part in setting up the University's Oceanography program and its graduate program in Fisheries. He was awarded the President's Distinguished Service Award by the Humboldt State University and had a lab and part of the Arcata Wastewater Treatment Plant and Wildlife Sanctuary named in his honor. Allen was nicknamed "Fishy" by the Arcata, California city hall workers he co-operated with in the creation of its pioneering artificial marsh wastewater treatment facility. The toadfish genus Allenbatrachus was named in his honor by one of his former students, David W. Greenfield, for Allen's introduction of Greenfield to ichthyology. He was survived by his wife, Beverley, and their three daughters.
Enneanectes is a genus of triplefin fish in the family Tripterygiidae.
David Starr Jordan was an American ichthyologist, educator, eugenicist, and peace activist. He was president of Indiana University and the founding president of Stanford University.
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 400 known species. 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.
Labrisomids are small blennioids (blennies), perciform 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.
The blennioid family Chaenopsidae includes the pike-blennies, tube-blennies, and flagblennies, all percomorph marine fish in the order Blenniiformes. The family is strictly tropical, ranging from North to South America. Members are also present in waters off Japan, Taiwan and Korea. Fourteen genera and 90 species are represented, the largest being the sarcastic fringehead, Neoclinus blanchardi, at 30 cm (12 in) in length; most are much smaller, and the group includes perhaps the smallest of all vertebrates, Acanthemblemaria paula, measuring just 1.3 cm (0.51 in) long as an adult.
Clinidae is a family of marine fish in the order Blenniiformes which sits 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.
Blenny is a common name for a type of fish. The term is ambiguous, having been applied to several families of percomorph marine, brackish, and some freshwater fish sharing similar morphology and behaviour. Six families are considered "true blennies", all grouped together 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.
The Percophidae, duckbills, are a family of percomorph fishes, from the order Trachiniformes, found in tropical and subtropical waters of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and in the southwestern and southeastern Pacific.
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.
Notoclinops is the name of a genus of triplefins in the family Tripterygiidae from New Zealand.
Enneapterygius is a genus of fish in the family Tripterygiidae found in the Indian and Pacific Ocean.
Norfolkia is a genus of triplefins in the family Tripterygiidae. They are found I the Indo-Pacific region.
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.
Enneapterygius mirabilis, known commonly as 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, known commonly as the blotched triplefin, also known as the Pakistan triplefin, is a species of triplefin blenny in the genus Enneapterygius. It was described by Wouter Holleman in 1982.
Helcogramma ellioti, known commonly as the red-eye threefin, is a species of triplefin blenny in the genus Helcogramma. It was described by Albert William Herre in 1944 who honoured the Scottish naturalist and ethnologist Walter Elliot (1803-1897) in its specific name. This species occurs in the Indian Ocean along the eastern and western coasts of India and around Sri Lanka.
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.
Lepidoblennius marmoratus, known commonly as the western jumping blenny, is a species of triplefin blenny in the genus Lepidoblennius. It was described by Macleay in 1878.
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.
Lepidoperca is a small genus of fish belonging to the Anthiadinae subfamily. It includes ten species.
The pearl blenny is a species of combtooth blenny from the subfamily Salarinae of the family Blenniidae. It occurs in shallow coastal waters in the western Atlantic Ocean. It is the type species of the genus Entomacrodus.