Meet our July Fish of the Month, the Leopard Blenny, Exallias brevis!

Survey Regions: The Leopard Blenny is found in the following REEF survey regions: Central-Indo Pacific (CIP), South Pacific (SOP), Indian Ocean & Red Sea (IORS), and Hawaii (HAW), where it is known as the Spotted Coral Blenny or Shortbodied Blenny. Click on each region to see the corresponding REEF database sightings report.

Size: They grow to about 5 inches (14 cm) long.

Identifying Features: Leopard Blennies are white with small spots covering their head, body, and fins. The spots are brown in females and juveniles, while males have brown spots on the head and chest, and red spots on the rest of the body. They have fringe-like cirri running across the nape and a branched tentacle above each eye. Their fins may also have a yellow or reddish pink cast.

Fun Facts: Leopard Blennies are typically found perching on shallow reefs, where they shelter among hard corals like branching coral or stony coral. Their unique leopard-like body pattern helps them blend into their surroundings, and they use the comb-like projections in their upper jaw to feed on their favorite food, live hard coral polyps.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for our next Fish of the Month.

Photo by Florent Charpin.