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The Seashore

Butterfish (Pholis gunnellus) Butterfish

This eel-like fish is a type of blenny. It has a continuous and narrow dorsal fin with distinctive black spots along the top of its back and fin. Up to 20 cm long. The body is compressed sideways. Protected under stones it is very difficult to pick up when disturbed because it is so slippery, hence the name. The adult lays eggs in a cluster and uses its flattened sides of the body to guard them. It feeds on small crustaceans and worms. The Butterfish has its origins in the Arctic seas and it has extended its range southwards to the English Channel. It is found on sheltered muddy, rocky seashores in the middle and lower shore. Typically, under stones.

 


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