Occurrence at the Busselton Jetty
False Tasmanian Blennies are very commonly seen perched on the piles in amongst the brightly coloured sponge and coral growth or hidden within vacant barnacles shells or pile crevices with only their heads and bright yellow antennae visible from near the surface down to the sea floor.
In Western Australia, False Tasmanian Blennies are found from the North West Cape south to Esperance and are a benthic species often found in crevices on jetty timbers among invertebrate life. Blennies are characterized by their slender eel-like bodies, covered in a tough, slimy skin rather than scales other bony fish possess and antennae known as cirri sitting atop their eyes. Growing to a maximum length of 13cm, the blennies use their pectoral and pelvic fins as an aid in “walking”.
False Tasmanian Blennies are omnivorous, feeding on a mixed diet of algae and benthic invertebrates. Males attract gravid females to lay their eggs in a small hole left by tube worms, crevices or even hollowed out barnacle shells. She lays dozens of small orange eggs along the walls, before passing over the responsibility of aeration and protection from predators to the male.
Kuiter, R H. (1996) Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland Publishers, Australia
Morrison, S., Storrie, A. (1999) Wonders of Western Waters. Department of Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia
Morrison, S and P., Storrie, A. (2003) Beneath Busselton Jetty. Department of Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia
Image: A. Micha