Blenny, a name given to several spiny-rayed fishes of the goby family, but especially to the genus hlennius (Cuv.). They have the body covered with a thick coating of mucus, in which are imbedded small soft scales; the ventral fins are in advance of the pectorals, and generally have only two rays; head blunt and rounded; dorsal fin long, generally with the edge interrupted; teeth slender, in a single n>w. The species are small in the true biennis, 2 1/2 to 5 inches long, living in small shoals; active and tenacious of life, they crawl out of water in crevices of rocks, hiding among the weeds till the next tide. Several species are described in northern Europe, distinguished from each other and from allied genera by the number of the fimbriated appendages about the head. One called the butterfly fish or the eyed blenny (B. ocellaris) has a dark brown spot on the dorsal fin. The genus pholis, called in England the shanny, has no appendages on the head. The B. serpentinus of our coast attains a length of 18 inches; the
Blenny (Blennius ocellaris).
American shanny resembles the European. The gunnels (gunnellus, Flem.) are also blem nies, with an elongated body, velvet-like teeth, very long and low dorsal fin, and ventrals exceedingly small; one species, called the butter fish, attains the length of a foot. In the genus zoarces (Cuv.) the dorsal, anal, and caudal fins are united, which, with the elongated body, have obtained for it the name of eel-pout. The ventrals are under the throat and small. This genus includes the viviparous blenny, Z. viviparus of Europe and Z. anguil-laris of this country. The young are brought forth alive, and able to provide for themselves as soon as excluded; they appear to be produced of a size proportionate to the mother. From the green hue of the bones when boiled, a common English name for it is "green-bone." In this blenny the ovarian bag of the mature eggs is a double sac, having a disk of considerable size at the upper part, where the spermatozoa may come into contact with the yolk membrane. The American species attains a length of 3 1/2 feet, and is occasionally caught by cod-fishers, who call it ling and conger eel; it is of a light salmon color, with irregular olive blotches. The blennies feed upon mol-lusks and crustaceans, and the flesh of the young of the larger species is very good.
They use their ventral fins almost as legs to climb on the rocks; the small size of the branchial openings, preventing the rapid escape of water from and the entrance of air into the gill chamber, enables them to live several hours out of water. They are said to have no air bladder or rudimentary lung.