Mussel Blenny

Hypsoblennius jenkinsi





Hypsoblennius jenkinsi is a small intertidal fish that inhabits shallow waters ranging on the Pacific outer coast from Coal Oil Point just south of Point Conception of central California coast to Baja California, Mexico.  The general habitat involves the fish burrowing within clams, worm tubes, and mussel beds at depths ranging from 1-20 meters (1).  This particular species is a littoral benthic fish in which reproduction is seasonal, occuring from spring through late summer.  The eggs are guarded by the male mussel blenny that then becomes larvae that are pelagic for approximately three months in total (2).  In regard to physical attributes of the mussel blenny, the benthic fish has a larger and depressed head in contrast to the body shape.  The overall body length can get up to about 13 cm.  In respect to the diet of the Hypsoblennius jenkinsi, the fish is an omnivore that eats microalgae, benthic worms, and benthic crustacea (3).


  • Rocky Intertidal Zone


(1) Present, T. M. C. 1987. Genetic differentiation of disjunct Gulf of California and Pacific outer coast populations of Hypsoblennius jenkinsi. Copeia:1010–1024.

(2)Stephens Jr, J. S., R. K. Johnson, G. S. Key, and J. E. McCosker. 1970. The comparative ecology of three sympatric species of California blennies of the genus Hypsoblennius Gill

(3)“Species: Hypsoblennius jenkinsi, Mussel blenny.” Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Accessed 23 November 2018.