Omobranchus meniscus. The brachiosaurus blenny from
Singapore, BR blenny 6/28/10
my name is Yi Kai from Singapore.
<Hello Yi Kai,>
I'm sure you are aware of Omobranchus anolius, the
brachiosaurus blenny, that is only found in Australia.
<Yes, and also Omobranchus zebra, a brackish water species
occasionally traded as an aquarium fish.
Then there's Omobranchus ferox, another brackish water
species with similar colouration to yours, and a notable
hitchhiker that has become established well outside is native
range, e.g., Hawaii, thanks to ship ballast water.>
There is another species of Omobranchus recently discovered in
late 2009, known as Omobranchus meniscus. It was recently
discovered in Singapore late last year in 2009. This species was
found living in brackish water. There have been no photographs,
or other important information about it however, not even on
<It is on Fishbase now:
Today, a group of friends and myself collected 13 specimens of an
unidentified blenny with a very conspicuous bulge on it's
head. Instantly we thought Omobranchus, or Salarias.
<Does look like the hump on Omobranchus anolius, but do be
aware that this sorts of humps are not uncommon among blennies.
Here in Europe, our brackish water blenny Salarias pavo has a
very similar hump. So without
seeing other Omobranchus species, it's hard to know if the
hump on Omobranchus anolius is exceptional for the genus.>
I took back 7 of the original 13 and one of them did not make it
on the way back.
<Omobranchus zebra at least is [a] very sensitive to low
oxygen levels and [b] very territorial. Both these factors will
impact successful collection, handling and shipping.>
The other remaining 6 are living in a holding tank with liverock
My friends and I have done plenty of work trying to identify this
We ruled out Salarias as the finnage were totally off.
Omobranchus was the only logical genus for it.
<Indeed. Has the colours of Omobranchus zebra, but the hump of
However, none of the blennies in this genus matched the identity
of our "mystery" blenny. Those that did look somewhat
similar were far off range, found only in Japan or Taiwan.
<Perhaps, but there are 23 species in the genus Omobranchus,
and photos of species other than Omobranchus zebra are not common
on the Internet.>
We then stumbled upon Omobranchus meniscus. The newly discovered
species in this genus. There have been no photos of it, like I
said, not even on Fishbase. We found our 13 specimens in brackish
water which suited the habitat. Moreover, it was found in
Singapore, where it has been recently discovered. We found egg
masses of it too, which were orange. A local clownfish and
Dottyback breeder who was with me, however, did not bring
back the eggs. Could this be the elusive Omobranchus
The tropical brachiosaurus blenny of Singapore? The one where no
photos have ever been taken. If it is indeed O. meniscus, then
this would be the first ever photographs of it and probably the
first ever live specimen in captivity since it's
<Oh, I doubt the first ever live specimen photographed. The
problem is that much of the literature is in books, not the
Internet. You really need to contact someone working on the
Blenniidae to find out if they can help.>
I've attached the mediocre photographs I took with my digital
camera. I hope you do find the time to read this and perhaps post
it up on your website for other opinions. Whatever the fish is,
it could very well be the new Omobranchus. Or not. Only time will
<Indeed! Good luck with your further researches. Cheers,
Re: Omobranchus meniscus. The brachiosaurus blenny from
Singapore (Bob, feel free to comment)
Thanks for your quick reply. I will probably send this photo to
someone working on fish (if I can find them) and maybe provide a
fin clipping for DNA studies if need be. I do hope to positively
ID this species and if it's indeed O. meniscus, then it would
be great news that this elusive fish is being made known. I agree
with you that there's probably a photo of it somewhere in the
world. It's probably impossible for a photograph to not be
taken but at the same time, write something about the fish.
I do appreciate your reply however and thanks for your time. The
6 blennies are doing very well and are chowing down on Mysis
<Glad to help. Do try to keep the diet as varied as possible.
I'd add some chopped clams and white fish to their diet, plus
some sushi Nori (or similar) if they will take it. I don't
know who is working on blennies at the moment. But could try the
"goby group" on Yahoo Groups. There are several helpful
goby scientists there, and they may well be able to put you in
touch with blenny specialists. Cheers, Neale.>