Species encyclopedia

Tompot Blenny

Parablennius gattorugine


The tompot does not have an air bladder so it cannot swim in open water and can always be found on the ocean floor.

It takes over a cavity that it uses as a shelter and then fiercely defends, especially against other members of its species. The tompot may even attack creatures much larger than itself… even divers!

Its aggressive defence of its territory has earned it a reputation for being ‘doggish’.

Reproduction and food

This omnivorous fish feeds on algae and various invertebrates living on the ocean floor. The tompot blenny mates during the spring. The male prepares a ‘nest’ in a cavity for a female to lay her eggs in.

To attract a female, he parades about, waggling his long, fir-shaped tentacles over his eyes. Once the eggs have been placed in the nest, he defends them from attackers, ventilating them using his fins.

The larvae emerge after a month to spend a few weeks in the open water before returning to the ocean floor.

Tompots are also known for being slimey. They don't have scales, but their skin is covered with a thick coating of sticky mucus.



Species encyclopedia

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