Acanthemblemaria atrata

Cocos Barnacle Blenny

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Cocos Barnacle Blenny Cocos Barnacle Blenny Cocos Barnacle Blenny



A small benthic reef fish which is common in shallow water, but also occurs to depths of at least 31 meters. Oviparous. Eggs are attached to the walls of the parent's shelter and are brooded by the male parent.



This species is endemic to the Eastern Pacific, and is only found near Cocos Island, Costa Rica. 


This species is only known from one location (Cocos Island). Regional experts support the plausible threat of the increased duration and frequency of ENSO events that can cause severe and rapid declines for restricted-range, shallow-water species in this region of the Eastern Tropical Pacific. This species is listed as Vulnerable under Criterion D2.



In the Eastern Tropical Pacific, severe localized fish species declines have occurred after strong ENSO events that result in shallow waters that are too warm and nutrient poor for extended periods of time (Grove 1985, Edgar et al. 2009). The frequency and duration of ENSO events in this region of the Eastern Tropical Pacific (e.g. the up-welling zone off the coast of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama and the offshore islands) appears to be increasing (Glynn and Ault 2000, Soto 2001, Chen et al. 2004). Given this species' restricted distribution and shallow water habitat, oceanographic environmental changes, such as those associated with future ENSO events, may have detrimental effects on the survival of this species.

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