Explore life beneath the waves around Britain with Benny the Blenny
What’s this? A little tompot blenny (2cm long) is swimming along the ledge in front of my home. He has just settled out of the plankton having developed from a nearly transparent fish larva into a young tompot blenny. He must have been from an early hatching around the end of June and has spent the last 2 months munching his way in the plankton. Can you see from the video that he is not at all bothered by me watching him? Quite a cheeky little show off, could he be a mini me?
Here's the link to the video! Hope you enjoy it! vimeo.com
A thoughtful Dad
I’m thinking about my babies (tompot blenny larvae) swimming, eating and developing in the plankton, I hope they are OK.
It reminded me of this excellent video called ‘The Power of Plankton’ from SAHFOS* which promotes the importance of plankton - the amazing drifting part of my underwater world.
Did you know that the PLANT PLANKTON (phytoplankton) PRODUCES almost 50% of the WORLD’S OXYGEN? That’s one of the reasons why caring for our seas is so important!
By watching the video I also learnt that my babies are classed as MEROPLANKTON, along with the eggs, larvae and juveniles of many different types of fish. This also includes the young stages of other marine animals such as barnacles, crabs, starfish and sea anemones.
You can watch this video and learn all about these things for yourself here: wtru.st
Many thanks to SAHFOS *Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science www.sahfos.ac.uk for producing ‘The Power of the Plankton’ video.
You've just got to watch my video here: vimeo.com
This video shows what my babies look like when they have left home, having just hatched from those eggs that I’ve been guarding. Swimming among the plankton in the open sea, they are very sleek with gorgeous big eyes and are between 5-10 mm long.
By eating very small plant (phyto-) plankton and animal (zoo-) plankton, the youngsters grow quickly and are then able to eat larger plankton. Bigger fish larvae and jellyfish in the plankton are a real danger and my babies have to make smart evasive moves if they feel they are about to be grabbed!
If you would like to find out more about plankton visit
Thank you to the National Marine Aquarium Plymouth for their help in obtaining this video.
We’re looking at you Dad!
Over the summer the eggs that I have been caring for have developed well; you can see them on the ceiling above my head. They look like amethyst gems (see Barbara’s eggs in the photograph) when first laid, then progress to a gold colour with a paler centre. Just before they hatch, their eyes become very obvious and it looks as though they are watching what I’m up to. I still clean all of them regularly by wiping them with my special gland (see blog 26/06/15) and protect them from predators.
It won’t be long now before the ones with well-developed eyes hatch. I will be sad to see them leave but my job is done. They need to go into the plankton and find the right size food so they can grow into young fish.
For more photos of British marine life why not check out www.marinephoto.co.uk!
At low tide today two snorkellers came to see me. Luckily I recognised Teresa’s mask and popped out to see her and Sam. You could see fish like me if you go snorkelling when the sea is very calm and clear, but take care and always go with an adult.
Here are a couple of links on snorkelling: