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Fish in rockpools

 

Rockpools can be great places for juvenile fish to hang out in relative safety while the tide is out.

 

Other fish will stay in rockpools all their lives like rocklings or blennies. 

 

For fish that have been washed up on the strandline, click here.

Common blenny or Shanny 
Lipophrys pholis
 

 

This a common rockpool fish which has large eyes, thick lips and strong fins which can grip the rocks it lives on. Because of its appearance, it is often known as the sea frog.

It has sharp teeth (which can bite fingers) which are strong enough to bite into barnacles or the shells of small molluscs.

 

 

Blennies can live out of water as long as their skin stays moist and often hide out in crevices in rocks (top right and below left) when the tide goes out. Thei colours ranges from green to deep brown.

 

Below right: a juvenile blenny.

 

 

 

 

Montagu's blenny

Coryphoblennius galerita

 

This little blenny has a crest on its head and generally appears more stripy than the common blenny.

Sea scorpion

 

Pictured is a juvenile fish although much larger fish can find themselves in rockpools sometimes where they will live and hunt under the cover of sea weed. Sea scorpions are aggressive and will attack and eat fish as large as themselves.

Weever Fish

Echiichthys vipera

 

These little fish can occasionally be found in rockpools but generally spends its time hidden under the sand of sandy beaches with just its venmous dorsal fin sticking up. Should a person tread on it, the spiky fin will stick into bare flesh and exude painful venom.

Lesser sand eel

Ammodytes tobianus

 

Silvery and slender, this little fish is not really an eel at all. It is a favourite food of puffins. In the winter, sand eels live buried in the sand.

Worm Pipefish
Nerophis lumbriciformis

 

This long slender fish has a snout nose and a long thin body. It can be found swimming on rockpools or hiding under stones. It can be greenish or brown and two can often be found together as in the photo below right.

Five-bearded rockllng

Ciliata mustela

 

The rockling has four barbs on its ;nose' area and another on its chin. It can appear dark brown as on this picture or be more mottled. Found in rocky areas where it feeds on sea snails and worms.

Cornish Lumpsucker or Shore Clingfish

Lepadogaster lepadogaster

 

This fish lives on dead plant and animal material and can be found hiding under stones or seaweed.

Butterfish

Pholis gunnellus

 

This is a small eel-like fish (it is called a rock eel by some) which can often be found hiding under stones. It has distinctive spots along its back which are more visible ons ome fish than others.

Brill

Scophthalmus rhombus

 

This juvenile brill was only a couple of centimetres long but it could grow up to three quarters of a metre long. Brill are flatfish related to turbot.

Anglerfish

 

Not a usual sight in a rockpool, but this young anglerfish found itself trapped in a small rockpool. Being larger, it had nowhere to hide so was vulnerable to predation.