Muzzled Blenny, Omobranchus punctatus (Valenciennes 1836)

Other Names: Japanese Blenny

A Muzzled Blenny, Omobranchus punctatus, at Exmouth, Western Australia, August 2018. Source: Glen Whisson / License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial

Males have distinct horizontal stripes along the body, while the stripes are obscure in females.

Video of a Muzzled Blenny, Omobranchus punctatus.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Omobranchus punctatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 22 Feb 2024,

Muzzled Blenny, Omobranchus punctatus (Valenciennes 1836)

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Shark Bay, Western Australia, around northern Australia to Brisbane, Queensland. Elsewhere the species is common and widespread in the tropical Indo-Pacific. Omobranchus punctatus occurs in areas outside its native range (including in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea), due to transport in ship’s ballast water and biofouling.
Inhabits shallow coastal and estuarine waters, sheltering among rocks, in tide pools, macroalgae and mangroves.


Dorsal fin XI-XIII, 19-24; Anal fin II, 20-26. 
Head without cirri and crest. Lower end of gill opening opposite upper margin of pectoral fin. Sensory pores in infraorbital and interorbital canals mostly 8 and 3 respectively. Lateral line usually 7 to 11. 


The specific name is from the Latin punctatus (= spotted) in reference to the rows of blackish-blue dots or small spots along the sides of this species.

Species Citation

Blennechis punctatus Valenciennes, in Cuvier & Valenciennes 1836, Histoire Naturelle des Poissons Vol. 11: 286. Type locality: Bombay, India.


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Muzzled Blenny, Omobranchus punctatus (Valenciennes 1836)


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. & 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. 

Bath, H. 1980. Omobranchus punctatus (Valenciennes, 1836) neu im Suez-kanal (Pisces: Blenniidae). Senckenbergiana Biologica 60[1979](5/6): 317-319.

Blaber, S.J.M., Young, J.W. & Dunning, M.C. 1985. Community structure and zoogeographic affinities of the coastal fishes of the Dampier region of north-western Australia. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 36: 247-266.

Cabezas, M.P., Lasso-Alcalá, O.M., Quintero-T, E. et al. 2022. Clarifying the taxonomy of some cryptic blennies (Blenniidae) in their native and introduced range. Scientific Reports 12: 9514.

De Vis, C.W. 1884. New fishes in the Queensland Museum. No. 4. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 9(3): 685-698 (described as Salarias decipiens, type locality Cardwell Island, Queensland; also described as Salarias helenae, type locality St. Helena Island, Moreton Bay, Queensland) See ref at BHL

Gerhardinger, L.C., Freitas, M.O., Andrade, A.B. & Rangel, C.A. 2006. Omobranchus punctatus (Teleostei: Blenniidae), an exotic blenny in the Southwestern Atlantic. Biological Invasions 8: 941-946.

Gibbs, S., Hundt, P., Nelson, A., Egan, J., Tongnunui, P. & Simons, A. 2018. Systematics of the combtooth blenny clade Omobranchus (Blenniidae: Omobranchini), with notes on early life history stages. Zootaxa 4369(2): 270-280.

Golani, D. & Ben-Tuvia, A. 2004. First record of the muzzled blenny (Osteichthyes: Blenniidae: Omobranchus punctatus) from the Mediterranean, with remarks on ship-mediated fish introduction. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 84(4): 851-852.

Johnson, J.W. 1999. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 43(2): 709-762.

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) 

Kawaguchi, T., Kohno, H., Fujita, K. & Taki, Y. 1999. Early morphological development of Omobranchus fasciolatoceps and O. punctatus (Blenniidae: Omobranchini) reared in an aquarium. Ichthyological Research 46: 163–170.

Larson, H.K., Williams, R.S. & Hammer, M.P. 2013. An annotated checklist of the fishes of the Northern Territory, Australia. Zootaxa 3696(1): 1-293.

Larson, H.K. & Williams, R.S. 1997. Darwin Harbour fishes: a survey and annotated checklist. pp. 339-380 in Hanley, H.R., Caswell, G., Megirian, D. & Larson, H.K. (eds). The Marine Flora and Fauna of Darwin Harbour, Northern Territory, Australia. Proceedings of the Sixth International Marine Biology Workshop. Darwin : Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory 466 pp. 

Springer, V.G. 1972. Synopsis of the tribe Omobranchini with descriptions of three new genera and two new species (Pisces : Blenniidae). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 130: 1-31 figs 1-16

Springer, V.G. 1981. Notes on blenniid fishes of the tribe Omobranchini, with descriptions of two new species. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 94(3): 699-707. See ref at BHL

Springer, V.G. & Gomon, M.F. 1975. Revision of the blenniid fish genus Omobranchus with descriptions of three new species and notes on other species of the tribe Omobranchini. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 177: 1-135 figs 1-52

Valenciennes, A. in Cuvier, G.L. & Valenciennes, A. 1836. Histoire Naturelle des Poissons. Paris : Levrault Vol. 11 506 pp. pls 307-343. See ref at BHL

Williams, J.T. 2014. Omobranchus punctatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T172487A48380274. Downloaded on 30 October 2018.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37408063

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-2 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:9.5 cm SL

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CAAB distribution map