Queensland Combtooth Blenny, Ecsenius mandibularis McCulloch 1923

Other Names: Many-toothed Blenny, Queensland Blenny

A Queensland Combtooth Blenny, Ecsenius mandibularis, at North West Island, southern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, November 2004. Source: Sascha Schultz / iNaturalist.org. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A greyish to pale brown blenny with two rows of pale spots along the side, a broad dark white-margined stripe running the eye onto the head and anterior body, the lower third of the iris white, and the upper two-thirds with pale radiating lines. Some individuals are uniformly greyish with no distinctive markings.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Ecsenius mandibularis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Jun 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/1064

Queensland Combtooth Blenny, Ecsenius mandibularis McCulloch 1923

More Info


Endemic to the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, from the Torres Strait to Lady Musgrave Island.
Individuals usually prop on coral heads on shallow reefs.


Dorsal fin XI-XII, 14-16; Anal fin 11,16-18; Pectoral fin 12-13; Segmented caudal-fin rays 13; Vertebrae 10-11 + 21-24 = 31-34. 
Dentary incisor teeth (includes anterior canine teeth, which differ little, if at all, in appearance from incisors) 45-53; posterior dentary canines (specimens at least 25 mm SL) 3-8 on each side (rarely 3). Lateral line without pairs of pores, terminating posteriorly at point between verticals from dorsal-fin spines 9 and 11 (rarely failing to reach past vertical from 9). Cirrus present on posterior rim of anterior nostril; none on anterior rim.


A combtooth blenny with two colour forms: one uniformly pale with no distinct markings, and the other quite dark anteriorly becoming moderately dusky posteriorly with two longitudinal rows of dark spots on the body (mostly in males). The upper row of spots usually begins between the dorsal fin origin and the lateral line and terminates at some point below the dorsal fin rays. The ventral row of spots extends from above the anus and extends to the caudal base. Some individuals have a narrow dark stripe running behind the eye across the top of the gill cover, and a narrow, dark stripe on each side of the underside of the head from behind the tip of the lower jaw to the ventral margin of the fleshy pectoral-fin base. Some unspotted specimens have several faint vertical dusky bars on the upper half of the body.


Semi-translucent grey body often with rows of blue/white spots along upper and mid side. Broad white-edged black stripe through eye and onto head fading before body. Lower part of eye white and upper with radiating lines. Found perched on coral heads. Endemic to the Queensland coast of Australia.

Species Citation

Ecsenius mandibularis McCulloch 1923, Records of the Australian Museum 14(2): 122. Type locality: Masthead Island, Queensland.


Bray, D.J. 2021


Atlas of Living Australia

Queensland Combtooth Blenny, Ecsenius mandibularis McCulloch 1923


Allen, G.R., Erdmann, M.V. & Liu, S.-Y. V. 2019. Ecsenius springeri, a new microendemic species of blenny (Teleostei: Blennidae) from the Fakfak Peninsula, West Papua, Indonesia. Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation 32: 68-78  https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2634454

Marshall, T.C. 1964. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coastal Waters of Queensland. Sydney : Angus & Robertson 566 pp. 136 pls. 

McCulloch, A.R. 1923. Fishes from Australia and Lord Howe Island. No. 2. Records of the Australian Museum 14(2): 113-125 pls 14-16  

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.

Springer, V.G. 1971. Revision of the fish genus Ecsenius (Blenniidae, Blenniinae, Salariini). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 72: 1-74 figs 1-36

Springer, V.G. 1988. The Indo-Pacific Blenniid fish genus Ecsenius. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 465: 1-134 figs 1-68 pls 1-14 https://doi.org/10.5479/si.00810282.465

Springer, V.G. 2001. Blenniidae. pp. 3538-3546 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218.

Springer, V.G. & Allen, G.R. 2004. Ecsenius caeruliventris and E. shirleyae, two new species of blenniid fishes from Indonesia, and new distribution records for other species of Ecsenius. Zootaxa 791: 1-12.  

Townsend, K.A. & Tibbetts, I.R. 2000. Biomass and distribution of herbivorous blennies in the southern Great Barrier Reef. Journal of Fish Biology 56(2000): 774-791.

Williams, J.T. 2014. Ecsenius mandibularis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T48342535A48394596. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2014-3.RLTS.T48342535A48394596.en. Downloaded on 04 November 2020.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37408027

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-10 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:7.5 cm TL


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