Scartella cristata (Linnaeus, 1758)
Molly miller
Scartella cristata
photo by Wirtz, P.

Family:  Blenniidae (Combtooth blennies), subfamily: Salariinae
Max. size:  12 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; depth range 0 - 10 m
Distribution:  Western Atlantic: Bermuda, Florida (USA), and northern Gulf of Mexico to Brazil. Eastern Atlantic: Mauritania and the Canary Islands to about South Africa. Also known in the southern parts of Mediterranean, including the following most southern localities of the northern coast: Torremolinos and Taramay near Motril (Spain), Sicily, Kyra Island (Gulf of Aigina) and near Palaea Epidavros, Peloponnes (Greece) (Ref. 5298). Northwest Pacific: Japan (Ref. 559, 9137, 35771) and Taiwan.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 12-12; Dorsal soft rays (total): 14-15; Anal spines: 2-2; Anal soft rays: 14-17. Resembles P. yatabei but easily distinguished by a median series of cirri on nape. A short supraorbital cirrus present (Ref. 559). Dull green or olive with dark bars on body which extend into lower part of dorsal fin (Ref. 13442).
Biology:  Adults inhabit shallow rocky areas and tide pools. They hide in empty Strombus gigas shells (Ref. 13628), holes or troughs of rocks, or between algae (Ref. 5981). Herbivorous (Ref. 13442). Feed on invertebrates as juveniles and shift to diet of algae as adults (Ref. 94105). Unusual erectile nuchal crest (Ref. 41019). Oviparous. Eggs are demersal and adhesive (Ref. 205), and are attached to the substrate via a filamentous, adhesive pad or pedestal (Ref. 94114). Larvae are planktonic, often found in shallow, coastal waters (Ref. 94114).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 18 October 2007 Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Froese, Rainer - 01.05.91
Modified by: Luna, Susan M. - 28.02.14
Checked by: Torres, Armi G. - 27.08.94

Source and more info: For personal, classroom, and other internal use only. Not for publication.

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