Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Blenny, any fish of the genus Blennius, often extended to the family (Blenniidae) of which this genus is the type, and sometimes to the Blenniiform division of Acanthopterygian fishes (containing six families, having the body long, low, and compressed, very long dorsal fin, generally long anal fin, ventral fins, if present, on or under the throat). In the family the body is naked or covered with small scales; there may be one, two, or three dorsal fins occupying the whole back, and the ventral fins are under the throat, or rudimentary, or absent. There are numerous genera freely distributed in temperate and tropical seas; all are carnivorous, and the majority are small shore fishes, many living in brackish, and others in fresh, water. In some the ventral fins are reduced to mere stylets, and are used as locomotive organs, by means of which the fishes move along the bottom or among seaweed. The largest Blenny is Anarrhichas lupus, the sea-cat or sea-wolf; and to the family belong the Butter-fish (q.v.), and the Viviparous Blenny (Zoarces viviparus), and some other forms that extrude the young alive. Of the true Blennies (Blennius) there are some forty species, of which the following are British: B. gattorugine, some 12 in. long; B. pholis (the Smooth Blenny or Shanny), about 5 in. long, olive-green marked with black; and B. oscillaris (the Butterfly Blenny), about 3 in. long, with a black spot banded with white on the dorsal fin. In most of the species there is a tentacle over the eye.