Whitedotted Blenny, Cirripectes alboapicalis (Ogilby 1899)

Other Names: White-dotted Blenny

A Whitedotted Blenny, Cirripectes alboapicalis, at Lord Howe Island. Source: Andrew J. Green / Reef Life Survey. License: CC BY Attribution

A dark brown combtooth blenny, often paler anteriorly, with the body covered in small bluish-white spots, a dark pupil-sized spot behind each eye, orange to brownish dorsal and caudal fins, a blue margin on the anal fin, and a black iris with a narrow yellowish inner ring.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Cirripectes alboapicalis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 29 Mar 2023, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/1898

Whitedotted Blenny, Cirripectes alboapicalis (Ogilby 1899)

More Info


Southern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland; also the Lord Howe Province and Norfolk Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the Kermadec Islands, New Zealand.
Inhabits coral and rocky reefs, often in the shallow surge zone where it grazes of algae and detritus, rapidly darting for cover when threatened.


Dorsal fin XII,15-17, deeply incised above the last spine; Anal fin II,16-18; Pectoral fin 15; Pelvic fin I,4; Caudal fin 13; Gill rakers 25-31; Vertebrae 10 + 21-23 = 31-33.
Body scaleless. Lateral line, anterior portion with small scalelike flaps, LL tubes 11-17 (rarely 9-10), series ends below and posterior to dorsal fin ray 12. Lower lip crenulated mesially, plicate laterally; upper lip crenulae 34-52; Cirri, nuchal 28-42, supraorbital 4-18, nasal 8-27; nuchal cirri in 2 groups, not overlapping at midpoint of nape, no nuchal flaps. First and second dorsal fin spine almost same height.


Delrieu-Trottin et al. (2018) determined that Cirripectes alboapicalis is a complex of at least three cryptic species, and that the true C. alboapicalis is most likely restricted to Australia and New Zealand (The Kermadec Islands).


The specific name alboapicalis is from the Latin albus (= white) and apicalis (= at the apex, tipped), in reference "to the white extremity of the first dorsal fin".

Species Citation

Salarias alboapicalis Ogilby 1899, Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 23(4): 742. Type locality: Lord Howe Island.


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Whitedotted Blenny, Cirripectes alboapicalis (Ogilby 1899)


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 figs 1-2 

Delrieu-Trottin, E., Liggins, L., Trnski, T., Williams, J.T., et al. 2018. Evidence of cryptic species in the blenniid Cirripectes alboapicalis species complex, with zoogeographic implications for the South Pacific. ZooKeys 810: 127-138. https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.810.28887

Eddy, T.D. 2011. Recent observations of reef fishes at the Kermadec Islands marine reserve, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 45(1): 153-159.

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

Francis, M.P. 2019. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk and Kermadec Islands, southwest Pacific Ocean, Version: 2019.1, https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4428305

Gill, A.C. & Reader, S.E. 1992. Fishes. pp. 90-93, 193-228 in Hutchings, P. (ed.) Reef Biology. A Survey of Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs, South Pacific. Canberra : Australian National Parks Vol. 3, Kowari 230 pp. 

Ogilby, J.D. 1899. Additions to the fauna of Lord Howe Island. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 23(4): 730-745 See ref at BHL

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. 

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.

Stewart, A.L., Struthers, C.D. & Barker, J.J. 201. 217 Family Blenniidae, pp. 1528-1538 in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. (eds). The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 4 pp. 1153-1748.

Williams JT. 1986. Phylogenetic relationships and taxonomic revision of the Blenniid Fish genera Cirripectes and Scartichthys. PhD thesis, University of Florida https://doi.org/10.5962/bhl.title.48741

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

Williams, J.T. 2014. Cirripectes alboapicalis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T48342277A48383963. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2014-3.RLTS.T48342277A48383963.en. Accessed on 28 June 2022.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37408010

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-21 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:15 cm

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