Smallspotted Combtooth Blenny (species: Ecsenius stictus) in taxonomy (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Ecsenius stictus
Smallspotted Combtooth Blenny

©Anne Hoggett: Ecsenius stictus is abundant in the Lizard Island lagoon. Note the dark "chinstrap" and indistinct Y marking at base of the pectoral fin.

©Andy Lewis: An adult Smallspotted Combtooth Blenny.

©Andy Lewis: An adult Smallspotted Combtooth Blenny on a merulinid coral
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Perciformes
Family Blenniidae
Genus Ecsenius
Species Ecsenius stictus



Distinguishing features

A small off-white to pale brown fish with a series of faint spots and blotches along the flanks. A dark margin to the lower gill cover and a dark "y" on the pectoral fin base. Found resting on the top of coral heads.


  • Up to 6 cm (Standard length)

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.


Similar taxa


©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

Tops of massive Porites spp (massive) coral heads in shallow water.

Found in most reef habitats around the island not exposed to heavy wave action.


The Smallspotted Combtooth Blenny lives in small family groups on top of prominant coral heads and bommies. They rest on the pectoral fins in between bouts of feeding and chasing each other around the territory. These fishes are mainly detritivores, combing small particles of organic material from the turf algae found inside the damselfish territories of Ward's Damsel and the Dusky Gregory, which typically farm algae on the tops of the bommies favoured by the blenny.

Web resources


References that assist with identification

  • Randall, J.E., G.R. Allen and R.C. Steene (1990). Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Other references

  • Caley, M.J. (1995). Community dynamics of tropical reef fishes: local patterns between latitudes, Marine Ecology Progress Series, 129: 7-18. LIRS catalog number 447.
  • Depczynski, M. (2006). Small cryptic fishes on coral reefs: a new perspective on reef fish ecology and life histories, Ph.D. thesis, James Cook University. LIRS catalog number 1070.
  • View all references