Zebra Blenny, Cirripectes quagga (Fowler & Ball 1924)

Other Names: Squiggly Blenny

A Zebra Blenny, Cirripectes quagga, from the Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia, USNM 407979. Source: Jeffrey T. Williams, Division of Fishes, Smithsonian Institution, United States National Museum. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A small agile blenny ranging from uniform brown to individuals with bars, spots, or a yellow to scarlet red caudal peduncle, and an ocellated spot on the gill cover.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Cirripectes quagga in Fishes of Australia, accessed 25 Apr 2019, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/1902

Zebra Blenny, Cirripectes quagga (Fowler & Ball 1924)

More Info


Northern Great Barrier Reef to at least One Tree Island, Queensland; also Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean, and reefs in the Coral Sea. Elsewhere the species is widespread and locally abundant in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific.
Inhabits the algal ridge and crests in the surge zone on exposed seaward reefs.


Dorsal XI-XIII, 14-16; Anal fin II, 15-17; Pectoral fin 15; Pelvic fin I, 4; Caudal fin procurrent rays 10-15; Gill rakers 18-26; Vertebrae 10 + 21 = 30-32; Lateral line tubes 7-18.

Head and body deep and greatly compressed; snout broad and obtuse, convex in profile; eye high and advanced; mouth broad and lower jaw inferior slightly. 
Dorsal fin membrane attached to caudal fin, with deep notch above last spine, first spine about equal to twice higher than second; lateral line without scales and scalelike flaps, canal ends below 7th dorsal-fin ray to caudal-fin base. Lower lip crenulated mesially, plicate laterally. Upper lip crenulae 32-46. 
Cephalic sensory pore system complex. Midsnout pores present. Cirri, supraorbital 2-15, nasal 6-16; nuchal 23-36, in 2 groups separated at midpoint of nape, no nuchal flap. Body depth at anal-fin origin 4.3 in SL. 


Herbivore - feeds on benthic algae.

Species Citation

Rupiscartes quagga Fowler & Ball 1924, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci., Philad 76: 273. Type locality: Wake Island. 


Dianne J. Bray


Australian Faunal Directory

Zebra Blenny, Cirripectes quagga (Fowler & Ball 1924)


Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

Allen, G.R. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of Cocos (Keeling) Islands.Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 1-21. 

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp. 

Carlson, B.A. 1980. A new Indo-Pacific fish of the genus Cirripectes (Blenniidae, Salariini).Pacific Science 34(4): 407-414.

Fowler, H.W. & Ball, S.C. 1924. Descriptions of new fishes obtained by the Tanager Expedition of 1923 in the Pacific Islands west of Hawaii. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia 76: 269-274.

Randall, J.E. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific. New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press 707 pp.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs. 

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs.

Williams, J.T. 1988. Revision and phylogenetic relationships of the blenniid fish genus Cirripectes. Indo-Pacific Fishes 17: 1-78 figs 1-21 col. pls 1-7

Williams, J.T. 2014. Cirripectes quagga. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T48342428A48361110. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2014-3.RLTS.T48342428A48361110.en. Downloaded on 17 September 2016.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37408016

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-19 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:10 cm TL

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