Forsterygion varium (Forster, 1801)
Striped triplefin
photo by Wirtz, P.

Family:  Tripterygiidae (Triplefin blennies), subfamily: Tripterygiinae
Max. size:  13 cm SL (male/unsexed); max. reported age: 4 years
Environment:  benthopelagic; marine; depth range 0 - 33 m
Distribution:  Southwest Pacific: Tasmania, Australia and New Zealand, including the Chatham Islands.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 26-32; Dorsal soft rays (total): 12-16. Head and pectoral fin base scaly (latter covered with cycloid scales), no scales on third dorsal fin membrane, ctenoid scales adjacent to but not overlapping base of third dorsal fin membrane. Lateral line scales short, posterior projection absent (present in specimens <88mm). Dorsal fin formula V-0N-0-1-0-1. Parhypural not fused. Nine procurrent rays in upper lobe, eight in lower lobe; in upper lobe, one procurrent ray opposite upper lobe, six opposite two epurals, two anterior to anterior epural; in lower lobe, one procurrent ray opposite lower lobe, six opposite haemal spine of second preural vertebra, one between haemal spine of second preural vertebra and haemal spine of third preural vertebra. Body with seven vertical bands of reddish-brown to black saddles (broad bands not extending onto ventral surface) (Ref. 84085).
Biology:  Adults are generally more abundant above 10m, but common in areas of broken rock on reefs, rock pools and sub-tidally down to 33 m (Ref. 84085). They feed on benthic invertebrates. Spawning occurs from May to November (Ref. 9003). Eggs are hemispherical and covered with numerous sticky threads that anchor them in the algae on the nesting sites (Ref. 240). Larvae are planktonic which occur primarily in shallow, nearshore waters (Ref. 94114).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 06 May 2010 Ref. (130435)
Threat to humans:  harmless

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