Blennechis spp See Blennies

Blennies A group of closely related fishes of the Suborder Blennioidei, ofwhich the combtooth blennies, Family Blenniidae, are the most spe-ciose (see also FishBase). The shallow habitat of the blennies, which protects them from many potential predators (Gibson 1993) may be a cause for their marked 'sexual dimorphism, and 'territoriality, indicative of'sexual selection.

Thus CD: with some blennies, and in another allied genus,20 a crest is developed on the head of the male only during the breeding-season, and the body at the same time becomes more brightly-coloured. There can be little doubt that this crest serves as a temporary sexual ornament, for the female does not exhibit a trace of it. In other 'species of the same genus both sexes possess a crest, and in at least one species neither sex is thus provided. (DescentII, pp. 338-9; n. 20 refers to Gunther (1861), i.e. p. 221 [on Blennius spp.] and p. 240 [on Salarias, the allied genus; [Fig. A]; however, neither page indicates the males' crests to be developed only during the breeding season).

There are many blennies among Darwin's Fishes, and we present them in the order of their appearance in Fish. The Rusty blenny

Blennius palmicornis, now called Parablennius san-guinolentus (Pallas, 1814) was described in Fish (p. 83), based on a specimen of about 12 cm collected by CD in the 'Cape Verde Islands. The Rusty blenny lives in very shallow waters (down to about 1 m) dominated by pebble fields, and rocks exposed to sunlight and covered with filamentous 'algae, its main food, and can be observed 'flying' underwater over relatively long distances.

Next are Blennechis fasciatus from 'Concepcion (pp. 83-85; Fig. B), and Blennechis orna-tus from 'Coquimbo (pp. 85-6; Fig. C), also in Chile, both of which are now identified as Hypsoblennius sordidus (Bennett, 1828). Then we have the Redlip blenny Salarias atlanticus, now Ophioblennius atlanticus (Valenciennes, 1836), described in Fish (p. 86) from three specimens collected by CD in the Cape Verde Islands. The adults can be quite a handful. Thus, CD wrote that they bite very severely; having driven teeth through Mr Sullivan's finger (Fish in Spirits, no. 19; the victim was a 2nd Lieutenant, later Admiral Sir James Sulivan). Jenyns adds that its "two very long sharp canine teeth at the back of the lower jaw are well calculated to inflict such a wound." (Fish, p. 87).

Another species is the Rippled rockskipper, described in Fish as Salarias quadricornis, based on two specimens exhibiting dull red transverse lines. This fish is now called Istiblennius edentulus (Schneider & Forster, 1801), with a specific epithet indicating safety for Mr. Sulivan's fingers. The smaller of these two specimens, also lacking the nuchal crest typical of male blennies, bore a label indicating it had been collected by CD in the *Cocos Islands (Fish, p. 87). The other, lacking such a label, but bearing a nuchal crest, was assumed by Jenyns to have been taken at the same location. The Rippled rockskipper lives just under the water line, in rocky or reef areas with slight to moderate wave action. Its common name is due to its habit of jumping or 'skipping' from one

Fig. 3. Blennies and close relatives, Families Blenniidae (A-C), Labrosomidae (D), and Tripterygiidae (E). From lithographs by B. Waterhouse Hawkins. A Entomacrodusvomerinus (Salarias vomerinus in Fish, Plate XVII), based on a specimen from Puerto Praya, Cape Verde Islands. B Hypsoblennius sordidus (Blennechisfasciatus, Plate XVII). The insert shows the teeth, similar to those drawn through Mr Sullivan's finger.

Fig. 3. Blennies and close relatives, Families Blenniidae (A-C), Labrosomidae (D), and Tripterygiidae (E). From lithographs by B. Waterhouse Hawkins. A Entomacrodusvomerinus (Salarias vomerinus in Fish, Plate XVII), based on a specimen from Puerto Praya, Cape Verde Islands. B Hypsoblennius sordidus (Blennechisfasciatus, Plate XVII). The insert shows the teeth, similar to those drawn through Mr Sullivan's finger.

pool to another when pursued. Last among the combtooth blennies, we have Salarias vomerinus, described in Fish (pp. 88-89), based on a specimen collected by CD at Puerto Praya, Cape Verde Islands. This species is now known as Entomacrodusvomerinus (Valenciennes, 1836).

Also, representing the Family Labrisomidae, we have Clinus crinitus, now Auchenionchus micro-cirrhis (Valenciennes, 1836), based on a specimen from Coquimbo, Chile (Fish, pp. 89-91; Fish in Spirits, no. 1204; Fig. D). Finally, CD sampled two specimens of the Spotted robust triplefin, originally Tripterygion capito, now Grahamina capito (Jenyns, 1842), family Tripterygiidae, from tidal rocks in the *Bay of Islands, NewZealand (Fish,p. 94; FishinSpirits,no. 1343; Fig. E).

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