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Florida Manatee & Aquatic Center Animal Fact Sheet
RED LIP BLENNY
Ophioblennius atlanticus

Range:
Very common in shallow water throughout the Caribbean. Range extends north to Georgia, south to Brazil, and also found on reefs along the west coast of Africa.

Redlip blennies defend algae patches and nests inside small territories against other blennies and other small reef creatures. Blennies chase and occasionally bite intruders to drive them away. More serious fights often occur between blenny neighbours, involving fin displays, chasing, biting and even locking jaws and engaging in a shoving match which can last up to 15 seconds.

 




Habitat: Red lip blennies prefer flat coral heads and encrusting coral algae with at least one shelter hole into which they can retreat.
Diet: Herbivores, eating mainly algae and tiny plantlike organisms called epiphytes, which grow on the algae.
Status: Not Evaluated
Approximate Dimensions of Adult:

Length: 7.5 in

Lifespan: 2 years
Reproduction & Offspring:

These blennies reproduce sexually, and do not undergo sexchange during reproductive development. Male blennies clean and prepare a nest hole inside their territory for breeding. Female blennies that are ready to spawn visit the territory of different males, where they display their swollen belly, full of eggs, indicating their readiness to reproduce. The male selects one female and courts her by pecking her on the head and swimming back and forth to his nest, showing her the way.


 

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