Roughhead Blenny, Acanthemblemaria aspera, is a very small blenny with a ton of character. Their maximum length is 1.5 inches, and the fish you will receive will likely be one inch or less. They live with their slender body inside a small hole or rock crevice and they rarely leave it. With just their head poking out they constantly shift their gaze to access approaching food or threats to their safety.
The Roughhead Blenny is cryptically patterned and camouflaged to blend in with the surface of live rock and algae. Their overall color is a speckled brown but they do come in a range from dark brown, to maroon, tan, and even golden. Males are most easily identified by a small black spot at the front of the dorsal fin. Both sexes have cirri on top of their head.
Several fish could easily be accommodated in a small aquarium as long as there is an abundance of holes and crevices in the live rock. Two individuals will occasionally bicker with each other by flaring their gills at each other in a display of aggression. This bickering is harmless and short-lived and they’ll soon settle down once territories are defined.
The Roughhead Blenny favorite food is live “pods” and if the aquarium houses a large population of pods supplemental feeding may not be necessary. Small particle sized foods that drift close to their hole will also be accepted. They will make a lightning-fast dash from their crevice to grab a passing food particle or pod.
These blennies get along with most other fish, are completely reef safe, and are especially well suited for nano and pico aquariums. They add an extra dimension of fascinating benthic fish life that you’ll have to look closely to observe.