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Common Name/s: Persian / Midas Blenny
Maximum Adult Size: 13cm
Natural Distribution: Indo-Pacific: Gulf of Aqaba and southeast coast of Africa to the Marquesan Islands
Depth Range: 2 – 40m
Species Notes & Captive Care Notes: The Persian or Midas blenny is a fish that’s full of beauty and personality, and it’s behaviour is quite unusual for a blenny as it will often swim in open water. In the wild it favours clear coastal to outer reef wall habitats, usually where currents are moderate. Growing to around 13cm, this species occurs up to 40m deep in the wild and feeds on zooplankton amidst large schools of anthias, of which it is a mimic. For this reason this can be a really interesting fish to keep with say a group of Lyretail anthias. It can even change colour to mimic other anthias species. In captivity, it will choose a favourite perch and secure a “bolt hole” where it is likely to spend more time when initially introduced. Typically, it’s quite a hardy fish that settles within a few days but sometimes they can be quite emaciated when imported, so should be chosen carefully. In an aquarium it should be offered small, floating meaty foods (such as mysis) and it usually transitions to flake foods quite readily. This is a species that absolutely needs a completely covered tank as it is known to jump out. It’s not usually expensive and is often available. Colouration can be quite variable and often specimens for sale in shops are rather pale. They also exhibit a specific pattern when stressed. Specimens collected from African waters are often said to be most colourful. Generally, only a single specimen should be kept, although if the tank is very large, more than one may coexist. They have even been known to form pairs and lay eggs in captivity, but they are not available as captive-bred at the time of writing. Although peaceful, they have been known to squabble and nip at other, perhaps less assertive, species in captivity especially when they reach maturity.
A small specimen, hovering in mid water
Close up head detail