Salarinae

The Salarinae is one of two subfamilies in the Blenniidae family (the other is the Blenninae). It is the largest of the two subfamilies with 43 genera. The species in this subfamily are mainly marine, with a few freshwater or brackish water species, and even a few species that are known to spend time out of the water! Overall they are well-loved by aquarists as they often perfom the useful role of grazing nuisance algae while most remain fairly small and many are also extremely colourful and behaviourally interesting. They are generally hardy but certain species can be prone to starvation in reef systems as they quickly over-graze the small area of a reef and may fail to adapt to foods added by the aquarist. Some species have been bred in captivity but they are not generally available in this form as yet.

Blenniella genus – There are currently 9 recognised species in this genus. They are unusual in the trade other than B. chrysospilos, which is imported fairly regularly. Click or touch a thumbnail image for species level information.

Cirripectes genus – With 24 recognised species currently recognised in this genus, these fish hail from the Pacific and Indian Oceans. They are fairly unusual in the trade but a small number of species do occur sporadically. Click or touch a thumbnail image for species level information.

Ecsenius genus – With 53 species, this genus of combtooth blennies is fairly large and contains some of the most well-known ornamental blennies. To aid in identification, certain authorities have split these species into 12 groups based on similarities (see species level info for more detail). Generally, the most popular of these species are frequently available and suitable even for quite small reef tanks provided certain conditions are met (indeed in the wild they have very small territories). Hailing from the shallow reef habitats of the Indo-Pacific region they are usually peaceful and highly engaging to observe. Identification to species level can be challenging in some cases as colouration and pattern can vary depending on the mood of individual fish. Some species even adopt mimicry as a strategy to dissuade being eaten by predators. Click or touch a thumbnail image for species level information.

Enchelyurus genus – This is a relatively small genus with only 5 representative species. They are not frequently imported but the odd specimen may occasionally be encountered… usually E. flavipes. Click or touch a thumbnail image for species level information.

Exallias genus – The single species in this genus, E. brevis is an interesting blenny as it grows to a relatively large size and is known to feed on coral tissue. It is only occasionally seen in the ornamental trade. Click or touch a thumbnail image for species level information.

Hypsoblennius genus – This genus has 16 species. They are fairly unusual in the trade. Click or touch a thumbnail image for species level information.

Istiblennius genus – There are 14 species in this genus but none are frequently imported. The genus is perhaps best defined by the relatively tall, sail-like dorsal fin of the species it contains. Click or touch a thumbnail image for species level information.

Ophioblennius genus – There are just 5 species in this genus combtooth blennies which are native to the Atlantic and to the Pacific coasts of the Americas. They are not frequently imported but do crop up occasionally. Click or touch a thumbnail image for species level information.

Salarias genus – With 13 species, this is one of the larger genera and it contains a small number of species that are regularly imported and available. They orginate from the Indian and Pacific oceans. Click or touch a thumbnail image for species level information.

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