Ecsenius frontalis   (Ehrenberg,  1836) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Randall, J.E.

Size: 8 cm.

Color: In Male head and anterior 2/3 of body almost uniformly dark brown or reddish brown, peritoneum black. Dark area shading off posteriorly into a very pale area (bright yellow in life) which extends over caudal. Pale area extending anteriorly further along base of anal and soft dorsal. On smaller specimens dark pigment extends further posteriorly until it may reach caudal, but fish always lighter posteriorly than anteriorly. Except for an indistinct light band from eye down across upper lip and an indistinct dark streak directly behind orbit, there are no spots or markings on head or body. A continuous dusky band along basal portion of dorsal back to where light area of body begins. On spinous dorsal this covers the basal 2/3of fin and contains a horizontally elongated black streak over first 3 spines. Distal part of spinous dorsal clear except for margin, posteriorly this dark margin becomes broader until it melts into lower dusky band. Soft dorsal with a dusky marginal band but rest of fin clear except for basal pigment band anteriorly and a little pigment along each ray. In smaller specimens the dusky basal band extends to end of soft dorsal. Anal with a fine clear band mesially on anterior rays which broadens to cover base and more than half of fin, remainder of fin, including entire distal edge, dusky except for fleshy pads on tips of rays, which are lighter. Caudal entirely pale. Pectoral rays dark, especially lower ones, but membrane clear and light. Ventrals dusky but lighter than body adjacent to them. Eyes and nasal cirri almost black. Females are same as male except that light posterior part of body confined to a part of caudal peduncle, more of anal dusky, and some pigment on distal 2/3 of middle of caudal. all of fins, in both sexes, because of slenderness of rays and spines and the translucency of the membranes, having a diaphanous quality not associated with Salarias.

Nasal cirrus double. That on dorsal side of nasal pore simple, slender, pointed and equal to, or a little greater than, diameter of eye, that on ventral edge of pore usually simple, but occasionally forked or nearly double, and half length of dorsal cirrus. Anterior profile vertical or with forehead slightly projecting. A single, small canine close behind other teeth on dentary, hidden by a fold of membrane at corner of mouth in males, not found in females. Upper labial teeth more than 100, long, independently move able and typically Salariin. Teeth on dentary 45-50, more than twice as stout as upper ones and shorter, only slightly move able, as in Rhabdoblennius. Depth 5-5.2. Head 4.5-4.8. Dorsal spines all of approximately same length except for last, which is only 2/3 height of next to last and half height of first ray. Softs dorsal highest in middle, the longest ray s little longer than longest spine. In small specimens the membrane comes down to level of last spine making a distinct, if shallow, notch, in large specimens of both sexes, the membrane extends straight back, leaving no notch between parts of fin. Last rays of soft dorsal shortened and bound to caudal peduncle by membrane which reaches just to first small caudal rays. Both anal spines visible in both sexes, the first 1/2 length of first ray, the second 2/3 length of first ray. Females with a rounded, rather large genital papilla having a tiny nubbin on posterior edge. Males having a slender tube, half length of first spine, between anus and first anal spine. Each anal ray of male )but not of female, or spines of either sex) Bearing a small, bulbous enlargement on anterior side of tip, anterior rays not elongate, a little shorter than dorsal rays, last ray membraneously bound to caudal peduncle. Membrane of dorsal and anal not excised, or only shallow notched, between succeeding spines or rays. None of caudal rays branched, 6 small rays both above and below, and 13 principle rays. In large males the second and third principle rays above extend beyond edge of middle rays, the third to a distance half the length of middle rays, third principle ray from bottom extended from contour of fin to a distance 2/3 the length of middle rays. Middle rays of equal length so that fin is truncate except for elongated rays. In females of same size as above the elongated rays above and below project beyond fin edge by not more than 1/4 length of middle rays. In smaller specimens of both sexes they extend scarcely beyond normal edge of fin. Pectoral fin shorter than head by length of snout and 2/3 the ye. Ventral fin about 2/3 post orbital length of head, spine completely hidden, third ray slender, 2/3 length of second, so closely bound to it as to be visible only by dissection. Lateral line prominent and straight back to level of 10th dorsal spine, pores forming prominent cross marks, posterior to this point it extends only as a fine line, without noticeable pores, to end of soft dorsal.

Oviparous. Eggs are demersal and adhesive.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Salarias frontalis Cuvier and Valenciennes 1836
Salarias bicolor Day 1888
Salarias namiyei Jordan and Evermann 1902
Salarias furcatus Johnstone 1904
Salarias bicolor M. Weber 1913
Salarias frontalis Bamber 1915
Salarias furcatus Whitely 1929
Salarias burmanicus Hora and Mukerji 1936

Common Name (s)
• Smooth-fin blenny (English)
Economic Importance and Threats

Habitat:  Reef Associated
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Benthic algae/weeds, other plants



Literature Source(s)
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Beaufort, LF and Chapman, WM (1951) The fishes of the Indo-Australian Archipelago A. J. Reprints agency, Karol Bagh, New Delhi 9 484 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Fischer, W and Bianchi, G (Eds.) (1984) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean; (Fishing area 51). FAO, Rome 1 Available at -

Page last updated on:2010-04-07

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