Parablennius pilicornis is a particularly fascinating species of blenny due to the wide colour variations that it displays: from golden yellow through (almost) black, both with a faint speckling, to a light or dark patterned version – in which the ringed neck (under the chin) is most obvious.

Dorsal finrays XII + 21; anal finrays II + 23; pectoral finrays 14; pelvic finrays I + 3. Colour: variable, mostly 'spot pattern'; basically yellowish-green and body and dorsal fin with irregular dark brown spots. Spawning males with bulb glands on spiny anal finrays. Size: to 11 cm.

Rocky shores, often at steep walls of surf-exposed sites, from 0.3 to 6m.

Food: invertebrates, especially polychaetes.

Reproduction: no data.

parablennius pilicornis dark variation 20121113 1503652627

Dark variation

parablennius pilicornis golden variation 20121113 1208924906

Golden variation

parablennius pilicornis showing dorsal fin spot 20121113 1578207055

Lighter variation

Parablennius pilicornis light variation

Showing ringed-neck

Some researchers have speculated that the golden variety is a developmental phase of the species, as it tends to be about half the size of the other variations.