/blen"ee/, n., pl. blennies.
any of several fishes of the family Blenniidae and related families, esp. of the genus Blennius, having a long, tapering body and small pelvic fins inserted before the pectoral fins.
[1745-55; < L blennius a kind of fish < Gk blénnos slime, mucus; so called from its slimy coating]

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Any of numerous and diverse fishes (suborder Blenniodei, order Perciformes) that are mostly small, marine species found from tropical to cold seas.

Blennies are slim, ranging from moderately elongated to very long and eel-like. Their habitats range from rocky pools to sandy beaches, reefs, and beds of kelp. Many live in shallow water, but some range to depths of about 1,500 ft (450 m). Some are mainly herbivores; others are partial or complete carnivores. They are generally unobtrusive and of little economic importance.

Shanny (Blennius pholis), a common European blenny

Jane Burton
Bruce Coleman Ltd.

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 any of the numerous and diverse fishes of the suborder Blennioidei (order Perciformes). Blennies are mostly small, usually marine fishes found from tropical to cold seas. They are slim, ranging in form from moderately elongated, as in some of the tropical species, to very long and eellike, as in the gunnel and wolffish (qq.v.) of northern waters. As a group, however, they are united by such features as a long dorsal fin and pelvic fins, when present, that are placed near the throat and contain one spine and two to four rays.

      The habitats of blennies range from rocky pools to sandy beaches, reefs, and beds of kelp. Many live in shallow water, but some range to depths of about 450 m (1,500 feet). Some are mainly herbivorous; the others are partially to wholly carnivorous. Blennies are generally unobtrusive, bottom-dwelling fishes. They are of little economic importance.

      Taxonomically, blennies comprise a number of families. The two largest are Clinidae, or clinids, with about 180 species, and Blenniidae, or blenniids, with about 300. The clinids, or scaled blennies, are carnivorous fishes, usually less than 30 cm (12 inches) long. They have a long, many-spined dorsal fin and usually a rather pointed nose. Many have fringed tentacles on their heads and snouts. The blenniids, or combtooth blennies, are small, blunt-nosed, scaleless blennies of warm and temperate seas. They have a single, sometimes notched, dorsal fin and slim, comblike teeth. The rockskipper (Istiblennius zebra) is a small Hawaiian blenny representative of several that live along shores and can hop about on land. The Hawaiian Runula goslinei and the Pacific R. tapeinosoma, both of which are small, are noted for nipping at swimmers.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • blenny — [blen′ē] n. pl. blennies or blenny [L blennius < Gr blennos < blenna, slime, mucus] any of various small marine percoid fishes (esp. family Blenniidae) with a long, many rayed dorsal fin and a tapering body covered with slime blennioid… …   English World dictionary

  • Blenny — Blen ny, n.; pl. {Blennies}. [L. blennius, blendius, blendea, Gr. ?, fr. ? slime, mucus.] (Zo[ o]l.) A marine fish of the genus {Blennius} or family {Blenniid[ae]}; so called from its coating of mucus. The species are numerous. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • blenny — 1774, from L. blennius (in Pliny), from Gk. blennos, from blenna slime, mucus, from PIE *mled sno , from root *mel soft. The fish so called from the coating on its scales …   Etymology dictionary

  • blenny — ► NOUN (pl. blennies) ▪ a small coastal fish with scaleless skin and spiny fins. ORIGIN from Greek blennos mucus (because of its mucous coating) …   English terms dictionary

  • blenny — /ˈblɛni/ (say blenee) noun (plural blennies or blenny) any of various fishes of Blenniidae and related families, with an elongated tapering body and small pelvic fins inserted farther forward than the pectoral fins. {Latin blennius, from Greek… …   Australian English dictionary

  • blenny — noun (plural blennies) Etymology: Latin blennius, a sea fish, from Greek blennos Date: 1769 any of numerous usually small and elongated marine fishes (especially families Blenniidae and Clinidae) including scaled and scaleless forms …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • blenny — noun a) Any of various marine fishes from the suborder Blennioidei that are generally small and dwell on the sea floor. b) A number of similar but unrelated fish throughout the world …   Wiktionary

  • blenny — small elongated marine fish Unusual Animals …   Phrontistery dictionary

  • blenny — noun (plural blennies) a small spiny finned fish with scaleless skin and a blunt head, typically found in shallow coastal waters. [Blennius and other genera, family Blenniidae.] Origin C18: from L. blennius, from Gk blennos mucus (because of its… …   English new terms dictionary

  • blenny — blen·ny …   English syllables

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