Microlipophrys dalmatinus

Microlipophrys dalmatinus

The blennie dalmate (Microlipophrys dalmatinus Steindachner Kolombatovic, 1833) is a sea fish belonging to the Blenniidae family.

Systematics –
From a systematic point of view it belongs to:
Eukaryota Domain,
Kingdom Animalia,
Subarign Eumetazoa Bilateria,
Superphylum Deuterostomia,
Phylum Chordata,
Subphylum Vertebrata,
Infraphylum Gnathostomata,
Superclass Osteichthyes,
Actinopterygii class,
Perciformes order,
Suborder Blennioidei,
Blenniidae family,
Genus Lipophrys,
L. dalmatinus species.
They are synonyms:
– Blennius dalmatinus Steindachner & Kolombatović, 1883;
– Lipophrys dalmatinus (Steindachner & Kolombatovic, 1883).

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
The blennie dalmate is an endemic species of the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Cadiz in the Atlantic.
Its marine habitat is that of shallow and well-lit waters, in areas not too exposed to the fury of the sea, on rocky bottoms with algae.

Description –
The Microlipophrys dalmatinus is a fish characterized by an elongated body, compressed laterally, without scales and barely visible lateral line and with a maximum length of about 4.1 cm.
The head has an almost vertical front profile. The supraorbital tentacles are missing, the nostrils are not visible to the naked eye.
The eye is relatively large.
The mouth is located in a lower position and has thin lips and sub-conical teeth.
The dorsal fin has the front part formed by non-articulated rays slightly lower than the second; the first spoke is folded back. The anal is less high than the dorsal. The caudal has a rounded posterior margin. The pectorals are not very wide and do not reach the anal opening. The ventral ones, inserted in the jugular position, are shorter than the head.
The lower half of the body, the pectoral and the ventral fins are intensely colored green-yellow; the upper half of the trunk is olive-green or gray-brown; nape, forehead and muzzle are dark brown. A dark wavy line starts from the corners of the mouth and goes through the throat. On the upper part of the trunk there are 8-11 brownish vertical bands. Another 8-11 bands of dark color, bordered with silvery, are found in the lower part of the trunk and often tend to join with the bands of the upper part. The anterior part of the dorsal is bordered with white and underneath there is a more or less wide and more or less marked dark stripe. The anal has a whitish lower margin, bordered above by a gray-violet stripe. Sometimes a brown spot is at the base of the caudal.

Biology –
The Microlipophrys dalmatinus, like other Blenniidae, is oviparous, with external fertilization, with adhesive eggs laid in a nest.
Reproduction takes place in spring and the nest is formed by a hole in the rock or in the sediment, or in a bivalve mollusk valve. The larvae are pelagic and are often found in coastal shallow waters.

Ecological Role –
The Microlipophrys dalmatinus is a species that frequents boulders covered with scarce vegetation from a few centimeters to 1-2 meters.
This fish feeds on small invertebrates.
It can only be captured with small hand nets.
According to the IUCN the population trend is declining.

Guido Bissanti

– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– Louisy P., 2016. Guide to the identification of marine fish of Europe and the Mediterranean. Il Castello Editore, Milan.
– Nikiforos G., 2008. Mediterranean fauna. Giunti Editore, Florence.
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