Montagu's blenny (Coryphoblennius galerita)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.Map Help



Coryphoblennius galerita is a small, scaleless, elongate blenny with eyes on top of its head and a down-turned mouth. It reaches 8.5 cm in length and is pale brown in colour with olive green vertical stripes and pale blue spots. It has a single dorsal fin that stretches the length of the body with a distinct notch part way down. It is distinguishable from other British blennies by the fringed fleshy crest between its eyes, continued by a series of short fleshy tentacles along the dorsal surface. As with all blennies, the pectoral fins are large and the pelvic fins are modified into thin 'limbs' that are used to grip rock in the intertidal zone.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Recorded around southwest Britain from Pembrokeshire to Dorset and the south coasts of Ireland.

Global distribution

Southwest Britain to northwest Africa. Occasionally in the Mediterranean.


Occurs around mid-tide level in the rocky intertidal where it feeds on the limbs of barnacles. It prefers pools without much foliose seaweed cover and is most often found in pools with substantial amounts of coralline algae.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • A crest on the head commences with an erectile fringed flap between the eyes and continues with a line of short tentacles along the dorsal surface.
  • The single long dorsal fin is divided unequally by a conspicuous notch.
  • Blue-white spots cover the body, which is pale brown with green patches/stripes.

Additional information

Coryphoblennius galerita may be confused with the shanny, Lipophrys pholis, as they co-occur in the range of Coryphoblennius galerita. With close examination they can be distinguished by the fleshy crest and blue-white spots of Coryphoblennius galerita.

Listed by

- none -


  1. Dipper, F., 2001. British sea fishes (2nd edn). Teddington: Underwater World Publications Ltd.

  2. FishBase, 2000. FishBase. A global information system on fishes. [On-line], 2001-05-03

  3. Hayward, P., Nelson-Smith, T. & Shields, C. 1996. Collins pocket guide. Sea shore of Britain and northern Europe. London: HarperCollins.

  4. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. 1990. The marine fauna of the British Isles and north-west Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  5. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  6. Picton, B.E. & Costello, M.J., 1998. BioMar biotope viewer: a guide to marine habitats, fauna and flora of Britain and Ireland. [CD-ROM] Environmental Sciences Unit, Trinity College, Dublin.

  7. Wheeler, A., 1969. The fishes of the British Isles and north-west Europe. London: Macmillan.

  8. Whitehead, P.J.P., Bauchot, M.-L., Hureau, J.-C., Nielson, J. & Tortonese, E. 1976. Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean.


  1. Fenwick, 2018. Aphotomarine. Occurrence dataset Accessed via on 2018-10-01

  2. Isle of Wight Local Records Centre, 2017. IOW Natural History & Archaeological Society Marine Records. Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-09-27.

  3. National Trust, 2017. National Trust Species Records. Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-10-01.

  4. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from:

  5. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2024. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. Accessed: 2024-06-25

  6. South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre, 2018. SEWBReC Fish (South East Wales). Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-10-02.


This review can be cited as:

Neal, K.J. 2005. Coryphoblennius galerita Montagu's blenny. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 25-06-2024]. Available from:

Last Updated: 06/07/2005