Last updated on September 17th, 2022 at 09:22 pm
A new study published in the journal Zootaxa has found that the Top Hat Blenny has one of the most complex and mysterious mating systems ever observed in an animal species.
An international team of scientists, led by Dr David Bellwood from James Cook University, Australia, conducted genetic analyses on the Blenny species and found that females do not only have multiple partners during one breeding season, but they also mate with males from other groups! As if that’s not enough, they also mate with males from different species while they are at it!
Omobranchus fasciolatoceps, commonly known as the Top Hat Blenny or Panamic Blenny, is a fish of the family Blenniidae, native to the Pacific coast of Central America from Mexico to Panama. It dwells at depths on coral reefs and rocky shores. It can be found in schools numbering hundreds of individuals near the seafloor, usually at night. This species can also be found in the aquarium trade and commands high prices when available.
Top Hat Blenny, is a species of combtooth blenny (family Blenniidae) in the genus Omobranchus. This fish has canine-like teeth that allow it to consume prey items such as bristle worms and tiny crustaceans. It can reach a length of 3 inches, though most do not exceed 2.5 inches. The fish has been observed sucking parasites from other fishes, this behavior may explain its common name.
Origin and descriptions
A new species of blenny has been identified by scientists at the U.S National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The new species, Omobranchus fasciolatoceps, was found on the Great Barrier Reef, near Australia in the Pacific Ocean.
Not only does it have a unique name, but it also has some pretty unique features that make it stand out from its relatives (this type of thing is often called being special). It has an elongated head, which gives it its common name, Top Hat Blenny.
The Top Hat Blenny is a species of marine fish in the family Blenniidae. It is found in the coral reefs in The Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and the Indian Ocean east to The Socotra Island and Aldabra Atoll, it was also introduced to Krakatau Islands off Java by Indonesian aquarium collectors. It inhabits outer reef slopes and channels with rocks or corals to inhabit.
They live at depths from 2 to 30 meters. This species can reach a length of 8 centimeters TL. They feed primarily on algae and planktonic organisms found in their environment.
Their coloration is highly variable depending upon age, location, diet, and other factors such as social interactions with other blennies. In general, they are brownish-yellow but may have red patches over their eyes and blue spots along their body.
Their habitat ranges from 10 meters deep to 30 meters deep, although they are most commonly found at a depth of 1-3 meters.
These blennies will eat zooplankton, crustaceans, algae, and other small invertebrates. These fish do not pose any threat to humans. If you want one for your home aquarium, you should try to get it when it is still young so that it does not grow too large.
The scientific name of the Top Hat Blenny is Omobranchus fasciolatoceps
Top hat blennies are marine fish that live in brackish water environments and coral reefs. They inhabit areas of sand and rubble in shallow waters. The fish are primarily nocturnal, hiding amongst corals during the day and emerging at night to feed on small invertebrates and crustaceans. It’s uncommon for them to leave their habitat unless removed by fishing or a natural disaster. In case of an emergency, top hat blennies can hide in crevices for up to three days until conditions improve.
Top hat blenny size
These fish species can grow up to 3 inches (8 cm)
The minimum recommended tank size for top hat blenny is 20 gallons (76 liters)
The Top Hat Blenny is a small species that grows no larger than 3 inches. They are reef-safe and compatible with most fish and invertebrates. Due to their small size, these blennies do best in smaller aquariums, such as a 20-gallon long tank. As long as you have live rock rubble with holes to swim through, you can put them in almost any kind of aquarium.
These blennies will eat algae, zooplankton, crustaceans, and other small marine life. Feed your blenny once every two days or so; they don’t require much food to survive but may starve if not fed regularly. These blennies also require hiding places for safety from predators. Provide plenty of caves and overhangs for shelter; real or artificial plants work great too!
Keep an eye on your Top Hat Blenny as it is more prone to stress than some other types of fish due to its shy nature. It might hide during feeding time or stay out of sight altogether if it feels threatened by anything else in its environment.
The Top Hat blenny is a very compatible addition to any saltwater or brackish water aquarium. It can be kept with other non-aggressive fish and invertebrates of similar size and temperament. Its peaceful, shoaling tendencies make it a good candidate for most saltwater tanks, though it is best kept in small groups or pairs. This makes it a great option for reef tanks as well as community tanks containing other fish that like to stay close to one another.
Some good tank mates are damselfish, gobies, blennies, wrasses, and cardinalfish. Avoid keeping it with more aggressive fish like angelfish or butterflyfish. A large aquarium can house multiple Top Hat blennies of different sexes. However, males will fight over territory if they are kept together in a small space. In larger tanks, however, several males can be kept together without fighting provided there is plenty of room for each to stake out its own territory.
They are egg layers and usually spawn in pairs or trios, laying eggs in a wide variety of coral caves. It is imperative that they use live rock or real coral for a spawning site since they will not lay eggs on plastic. The female picks up her eggs and cares for them until they hatch.
The male watches over them while swimming upside down at night to keep predators away from them. This species has been bred in captivity by aquarists. This fish is an omnivore and eats copepods, amphipods, mysid shrimp, krill, planktonic algae, and other small invertebrates.
Are they aggressive or peaceful?
The Top Hat Blenny is considered a territorial fish and won’t be friendly with other community tank mates. The males can be very aggressive. Due to their aggressive nature, it’s important to select tank mates that can hold their own; larger fish are best if you want a peaceful setup. These fish may nip at corals or invertebrates but should not cause much damage.
Top hat blenny care
Top hat blennies are easy to care for and can be kept in an aquarium or fish tank with compatible saltwater fish. They are quite territorial and will defend their chosen home from all intruders, but will usually leave other species alone as long as they’re not in their territory.
What they eat
Their natural diet consists of crustaceans, worms, and mollusks, but can be provided with quality dried foods designed specifically for marine fish. These include brine shrimp, bloodworms, mysis shrimp, and a variety of flake food mixes. Be sure to supplement their diet with vitamin-rich vegetables such as spinach or romaine lettuce; these should be fed sparingly so that your top hat blenny doesn’t become overweight.
This fish species can live up to 10 years in captivity.
Parasites and diseases
The top hat blenny has many parasites that are found on its head, particularly a sea louse (Lepeophtheirus salmonis). When a new fish enters an area inhabited by top hat blennies, it is quickly attacked by its predators and they will usually attack its gills and skin in order to kill their prey as fast as possible.
The top hat blenny’s defense mechanism against these parasites is to lay down mucous that covers most of its body which protects it from these predators. However, if one of these parasites gets under its mucous layer then it can cause serious damage to itself or even death.
Top Hat Blennies are adept at blending into their surroundings, making them more difficult to be detected by predators. When they’re hiding on a coral head or hanging out in a crevice, their colors blend perfectly with their environment.
The fish’s appearance is also aided by its ability to erect small spines along its body and fins, which can make it look larger than it actually is. Both of these qualities help it avoid being eaten by predators like butterflyfish or jacks that feed on smaller fish.
Do they make good pets?
Top Hat blenny fish are small but sturdy fish and can be entertaining pets. They are considered a reef-safe fish which means they will leave invertebrates such as coral alone.
They do well in tanks with larger, more aggressive tank mates and also make good community fish when kept with others of their own kind or other small schooling fish. These fish are an active species and should not be housed with sedentary or slow-moving tank mates that may become stressed by their activity level.
It is a territorial species that spends most of its time hiding amongst rocks, however, it becomes much more active at night when it comes out to feed on algae growing on live rocks.