Rippled Rockskipper, Istiblennius edentulus (Bloch & Schneider 1801)

Other Names: Coral Blenny, Edentulate Blenny, Reef Blenny, Rippled Blenny, Smooth-lipped Blenny, Toothless Blenny

A Rippled Rockskipper, Istiblennius edentulus, at Wooli, New South Wales, April 2015. Source: Ian Shaw / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A pale greenish grey rockskipper with dark greyish divided bars on sides that extend onto the dorsal-fin base, vertical orange wavy lines in the spaces between the bars, and a pale-edged grey bar through the eye across the upper lip. Females have orange-brown spots on rear of body and on dorsal and anal fins.
Males have a fleshy, blade-like crest on the head, and females either have or lack a crest. The species usually has relatively long simple nape cirri, and simple slender, transversely flattened, tapering orbital cirri.

Video of Rippled Rockskippers in a tide pool in Shirahama, Japan.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Istiblennius edentulus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 03 Oct 2023,

Rippled Rockskipper, Istiblennius edentulus (Bloch & Schneider 1801)

More Info


Rottnest Island, Western Australia, to offshore islands of north Western Australia, and Cartier Island in the Timor Sea, and the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, and reefs in the Coral Sea, to Shellharbour, New South Wales; also Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean, and the Lord Howe Province and Norfolk Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific.

Inhabits the edge of rocky shorelines in relatively protected intertidal areas where wave action is not severe. Individuals shelter cracks or holes when not feeding to avoid predation, and may jump between pools when pursued. 
Istiblennius edentulus and the Peacock Rockskipper, I. meleagris, an Australian endemic, occur together in the intertidal area on the Queensland coast.


Dorsal fin XII-XIV, 18-21; Anal fin II, 20-24; Pectoral fin 13-14; Pelvic fin (segmented rays) 3; Caudal fin Segmented rays 12-13, Procurrent rays 6-8 + 6-8; Vertebrae 10-11 + 26-20 = 36-40.
Orbital cirrus simple (occasionally with small side branch or tiny branches at tip); nape cirri present or absent;


The species is oviparous, forming distinct pairs, and females produce demersal, adhesive eggs.


The species is amphibious and individuals may remain out of the water, sheltering beneath rocks and algae.


The specific name edentulus is from the Latin prefix e (= without) and dens (= tooth), presumably in reference to the lack of posterior canine teeth in the lower jaws of this species.

Species Citation

Blennius edentulus Forster & Schneider in Bloch & Schneider 1801, Systema Ichthyologiae Iconibus ex Illustratum: 172.  Type locality: Tahiti, Society Islands, Neotype; (original type locality Huanaine Island).


Bray, D.J. 2021


Atlas of Living Australia

Rippled Rockskipper, Istiblennius edentulus (Bloch & Schneider 1801)


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

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 figs 1-2

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. 1988. Fishes of Christmas Island Indian Ocean. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 197 pp.

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls.

Castelnau, F.L. de 1875. Researches on the fishes of Australia. Intercolonial Exhibition Essays. 2. pp. 1–52 in, Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition of 1876 : Official Record. Melbourne. (described as Blennius cinereus) See ref online

Forster, J.R. & Schneider, J.G. in Bloch, M.E. & Schneider, J.G. 1801. Systema Ichthyologiae Iconibus ex Illustratum. Berlin. 584 pp. See ref at BHL

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

Grant, E.M. 1975. Guide to Fishes. Brisbane : Queensland Government, Co-ordinator General’s Department 640 pp.

Hobbs, J-P.A., S .J. Newman, G.E.A. Mitsopoulos, M.J. Travers, C.L. Skepper, J.J. Gilligan, G.R. Allen, H.J. Choat & A.M. Ayling. 2014. Checklist and new records of Christmas Island fishes: the influence of isolation, biogeography and habitat availability on species abundance and community composition. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 184–202. See ref online

Hobbs, J-P.A., S .J. Newman, G.E.A. Mitsopoulos, M.J. Travers, C.L. Skepper, J.J. Gilligan, G.R. Allen, H.J. Choat & A.M. Ayling. 2014. Fishes of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands: new records, community composition and biogeographic significance. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 203–219. See ref online

Hoschke, A., Whisson, G. & Moore, G.I.  2019. Complete list of fishes from Rottnest Island. pp. 150-161 in Whisson, G. & Hoschke, A. (eds.) The Rottnest Island fish book. 2nd ed. Perth, Wesern Australia : Aqua Research and Monitoring Services.

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3)

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 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 (described as Salarias insulae) See ref at BHL

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. 1986. Family No. 235: Blenniidae. pp. 742-755 in Smith, M.M. & Heemstra, P.C. (eds). Smith's Sea Fishes. Johannesburg : Macmillan South Africa xx + 1047 pp. 144 pls.

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. & Williams, J.T. 1994. The Indo-west Pacific blenniid fish genus Istiblennius reappraised: a revision of Istiblennius, Blenniella, and Paralticus, new genus. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 565: 1-193 figs 1-73,

Williams, J.T. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 2014. Istiblennius edentulus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T46079801A46664399. Downloaded on 28 April 2021.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37408043


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Habitat:0-5 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:16 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map