Lipophrys pholis (Linnaeus, 1758)


Lipophrys pholis

Description: The shanny can easily be distinguished from other blennies in Britain and Ireland by its lack of any head tentacles. It has a large, rounded head and older fish also have a fleshy ridge on their foreheads. The dorsal fin has a conspicuous dip in it, separating the front half from the back half. They are usually yellowish-brown to greenish-brown in colour with darker blotches and there is a dark spot between the first and second dorsal fin rays. Adult fish can grow to 16cm long.

Habitat: It is mainly found in rockpools or beneath boulders on the mid and low shore and sublittorally amongst pier pilings, boulders and wrecks down to a depth of approximately 30m. It feeds on barnacles, small crabs and other crustaceans.

Distribution: The shanny is common and widespread all around the coasts of Britain and Ireland.

Similar Species: This species is unlikely to be confused with other blennies since all the others have head tentacles.

Key Identification Features:

Distribution Map: NBN map : National Biodiversity Network mapping facility, data for UK.

WoRMS: Species record : World Register of Marine Species.

iNaturalist: Species account : iNaturalist World Species Observations database

 Picton, B.E. & Morrow, C.C. (2016). Lipophrys pholis (Linnaeus, 1758). [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland.
https://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/species.asp?item=ZG6320 Accessed on 2024-05-30

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