Lady Musgrave Blenny, Cirripectes chelomatus Williams & Maugé 1983

A Lady Musgrave Blenny, Cirripectes chelomatus, in New Caledonia. Source: Jeff Dubosc / License: All rights reserved

A brown blenny covered in small red spots, with a red iris, yellow pectoral fins, and yellowish anal-fin spines.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Cirripectes chelomatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 28 Mar 2023,

Lady Musgrave Blenny, Cirripectes chelomatus Williams & Maugé 1983

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Northern Great Barrier Reef to Lady Musgrave Island, Queensland; also the Lord Howe Province in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical south-west Pacific: Papua New Guinea, east to Fiji and Tonga.
Inhabits shallow rocky and coral reefs, often in the surge zone, usually above 7m.


Dorsal fin XII-XIII, 14-16; Anal fin II, 15-17; Pectoral fin 15; Pelvic fin I, 4; Caudal fin procurrent rays 10-14; Gill rakers 20-28; Vertebrae 9-11 (usually 10) + 19-20. 
Body depth at anal-fin origin 3.3-3.5 in SL. Dorsal fin attached to caudal fin, with shallow notch above last spine, first spine equal or about twice higher than second, higher in males. Last pleural rib on 11th vertebral centrum, last epipleural rib on 15-18th. 
Lateral line without scales and scale-like flaps; lateral line tubes 0-8 (usually 1-5), incomplete, series ends below 12th dorsal spine to 10th dorsal ray. Lower lip smooth mesially, plicate laterally. Upper lip crenulae 29-43. 
Cephalic sensory pore system simple. Cirri: supraorbital 3-12 (rarely up to 23 or 93; usually 6-9); nasal 6-25 (rarely up to 82; usually less than 15); nuchal 22-45 (usually 27-32), in 4 groups with slightly expanded nuchal flap at bases of ventral-most cirri. 




The specific name chelomatus is from the Greek cheloma (= notch) in reference to the shallow notch in the dorsal-fin membrane above the last dorsal spine

Species Citation

Cirripectes chelomatus Williams & Maugé 1983, Bull. Mus. Nat. d'Hist. Nat. 4e 4(4): 1140, figs 1-3. Type locality: Lady Musgrave Reef, 23°55'S, 152°24'E, Queensland.


Bray, D.J. 2021


Atlas of Living Australia

Lady Musgrave Blenny, Cirripectes chelomatus Williams & Maugé 1983


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

Allen, G.R., Hoese, D.F., Paxton, J.R., Randall, J.E., Russell, B.C., Starck, W.A., Talbot, F.H. & Whitley, G.P. 1976. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Lord Howe Island. Records of the Australian Museum 30(15): 365-454.

Francis, M. 1993. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, southwest Pacific Ocean. Pacific Science 47(2): 136-170 figs 1-2

Patzner, R.A., Gonçalves, E.J., Hastings, P.A. & B.G. Kapoor, B.G. 2009. The biology of blennies. Enfield, NH : Science Publishers, 482 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.

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

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

Williams, J.T. 1993. Cirripectes alleni, a new species of blennid fish from the northern coast of Western Australia. Revue Française d'Aquariologie et Herpétologie 20(2): 61-64.

Williams, J.T. 2014. Cirripectes chelomatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T48342303A48374465. Downloaded on 24 August 2021.

Williams, J.T. & Maugé, A.L. 1983. Cirripectes chelomatus, a new species of salarine fish (Pisces, Blenniidae). Bulletin du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle. Paris 4e 4(4): 1139-1149. See ref at BHL

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37408012

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-16 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:9.5 cm SL

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