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Author: Walbaum, 1792

Chirolophis ascanii Walbaum, 1792

Diagnosis: body fairly elongate, depth about five to six times in SL. Snout blunt, a large fringed tentacle above each eye, a smaller one in front and others on top of head and on the anterior dorsal fin spines. Dorsal fin with all rays spiny, anterior rays as long as the rest, total 50-54 spines; anal with 35-40 soft finrays; caudal fin rounded. Colour: body with bright red/brown lines in life, with numerous dark patches sometimes forming transverse bars; dark ring around the eye, continued as stripe down cheek. Size: 25 cm SL, usually 15-20 cm.

Habitat: benthic, usually over rocks and among seaweeds, never in intertidal zone, at 20 m, but descending to 100-280 m. Food: bottom invertebrates (small molluscs, polychaetes, hydroids, sponges), also algae. Reproduction: commonly in October/November; eggs in flattened masses (about the size of a chicken's egg) on stones, the eggs 2.3-2.8 mm in diameter; post-larvae occur in January-April (western English Channel), April-June (Murman coast), May/June (Iceland); fry pelagic.

Distribution: northern European coasts (Norwegian coast to Finmarken and Waranger Fjord, occasionally Murman coast, rare in Skagerrak, Kattegat and Eresund, around Heligoland, also British Isles), also the Orkneys, Faroes, Shetlands and Iceland. Elsewhere, larvae from off Baffin I. to Gulf of St Lawrence and off south-eastern Newfoundland.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Ehrenbaum & Strodmann, 1904: 106, fig. 11 (larvae) | Ehrenbaum, 1905-1909: 85, fig. 38 | Saemundsson, 1927b: 19 (larvae) | Pertseva, 1939: 461 (larvae & juveniles) | Rass, 1949: 24 (eggs), 37, fig. 14a (larvae).
Otoliths (sagitta). No data.

Yarrell's blenny (Chirolophis ascanii)