Allen's Combtooth Blenny, Ecsenius alleni Springer 1988

Other Names: Allen's Blenny

Allen's Combtooth Blenny, Ecsenius alleni, on Clerke Reef, Rowley Shoals, Western Australia, October 2020. Source: Alex Hoschke / License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial

A dusky-brown combtooth blenny with a white lower half, a large bluish-black ocellated spot on the pectoral-fin base, a series of black bars along the back continuing as brownish bars on the sides, and horizontal white stripes through the eyes and across the forehead.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Ecsenius alleni in Fishes of Australia, accessed 14 Jun 2024,

Allen's Combtooth Blenny, Ecsenius alleni Springer 1988

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Endemic to offshore reefs of north Western Australia, and Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea. Inhabits lagoons and outer reef areas at depths to about 35 m.


Dorsal fin XII, 13-14; Anal fin II, 14-16; ertebrae 10 + 21-22; 
A short cirrus on posterior rim of anterior nostril, cirrus absent on anterior rim. Dorsal fin deeply notched between spinous- and soft-rayed parts. Dentary incisor teeth 41-50 including anterior canine teeth that appear similar to incisors; a single posterior canine on each side. Lateral line lacking vertical pairs of pores, terminating posteriorly below dorsal spines 10-12.


Head dusky brownish dorsal to mid-orbital level, with three fine, bright-white stripes extending posteriorly from postorbital margin; dorsal-most two stripes very short, ventral-most stripe extends posteriorly to posterior opercular margin; cheeks pinkish below ventral-most stripe; eye black with two bright-white stripes passing across surface and continuing around snout. Body stripes blackish, but those on posterior half of body dusky ventral to body midline; dorsal half of body darker, bluish gray anteriorly, faintly dusky pink on posterior two-thirds, row of about 8 squarish bright-white spots on ventral half. Dark spot on fleshy pectoral-fin base indigo blue anteriorly, black posteriorly; spot with narrow, bright-white anterior border. Fins unremarkable. (Springer 1988).


The species is named alleni "for my colleague Gerald R. Allen, who collected most of the specimens and recognized that they represented an undescribed species, as well as for many other courtesies extended to me".

Species Citation

Ecsenius alleni Springer  1988, Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 465: 81, fig. 42, pl. 12(1). Type locality: central lagoon at Mermaid Reef, Rowley Shoals, Western Australia.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Allen's Combtooth Blenny, Ecsenius alleni Springer 1988


Allen, G.R. 1993. Fishes of Ashmore Reef and Cartier Island. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 44: 67-91 

Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls. 

Springer, V.G. 1988. The Indo-Pacific Blenniid fish genus Ecsenius. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 465: 1-134 figs 1-68 pls 1-14 Open access

Springer, V.G. & Randall, J.E. 1999. Ecsenius polystictus, new species of blenniid fish from Mentawai Islands, Indonesia, with notes on other species of Ecsenius. Revue Fran├žaise d'Aquariologie Herpetologie 26(1-2): 39-48.

Williams, J.T. 2014. Ecsenius alleni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T48342498A48399194. Downloaded on 12 February 2019.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37408020

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-35 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:3.4 cm SL


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