An amazing story of couple blennies: At mid-tide, females blenny feed for longer than males, and if another blenny should approach within 20 centimetres, they signal aggressively by flashing their red dorsal fin and changing their ufabet skin colour to black, the heightened aggression linked to competition for food.
An amazing story of couple blennies
This is only tempered when many females huddle together in a rock shelter during high and low water.
Males tend to avoid other males, and they are territorial. Should two meet, they use the same signal, although the intensity of colour in a male’s red flash is less than the female’s. His territory is centred on a hole in the rocks in the splash zone suitable for depositing eggs and, when ready to breed, he attracts a female by nodding his head vigorously, in a manner reminiscent of lizards. He has a head crest to augment his nodding, and it can be directed at female fish more than 2 metres away.
There was one particular rock with males spaced about 30 centimetres apart and it was the top male with a large nest hole close to a scalloped rock who became our ufabet star. Each time a female appeared below him, he would turn black and writhe in paroxysms of excitement.
Having selected a male or two, the female deposits her eggs inside the hollow and they are fertilised and then guarded by a male. Whether the larvae remain in the nest or are washed or splashed out to complete their development at sea is unknown.
Even so, leaping blennies are fish, and fish need a hit of water, but no more than sea spray or a splash to keep their gills and skin moist. The skin acts as a kind of external lung, absorbing oxygen directly from the air, much like the skin of ufabet amphibians, and it is this that excites evolution specialists like Dr Ord.
When blennies took their first tentative steps to colonise the land, thousands or even millions of years ago – nobody knows for sure – they might well have been camouflaged in a similar way to this unusual blenny.
Its ocean-dwelling relatives living deeper down on the same kind of shore have similar colouring, so perhaps those early blennies had camouflage skin colours that made the move from sea to land that little bit easier.