Lawnmower Blenny

Jeweled Blenny ~ Algae Blenny ~Jeweled Rockskipper

Family: Blenniidae Picture of a Lawnmower Blenny, Jeweled Blenny, Algae Blenny, or Jeweled RockskipperSalarias fasciatusPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy Seth Weintraub
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I luv,luv,luv my Blennie. He is by far the most adorable fish in the tank. I bought him an infused three piece barnacle that he calls home, I call it his condo, and... (more)  Mrs.Kim

   The Lawnmower Blenny, true to its name, has a wonderful ability of mowing down algae!

   One of the Combtooth blennies, the Lawnmower Blenny's teeth are combed which gives them that "mowing" ability. They are great at scraping algae off of the rocks.

   This fish has a typical blenny shape, a body that is long and slender with one long dorsal fin extending the length of the body. It will sit on the bottom of the aquarium with a curved stance. Typical coloring is a gray or tan background with darker streaks and bands, and small blue and black spots on the head. The head is blunt with the eyes perched up high on the head, and they have what looks like delicate tufts of hair called 'cirri' around the face.

   The Lawnmower Blenny's appearance gives it an adorable charm to go along with a great personality. This along with algae being its prime food source, make this fish an excellent addition to a peaceful reef aquarium.

For more Information on keeping this fish see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Marine Aquarium

Geographic Distribution
Salarias fasciatus
Data provided by
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Perciformes
  • Family: Blenniidae
  • Genus: Salarias
  • Species: fasciatus
Lawnmower Blenny, Salarias fasciatus eating hair algae
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Hair algae mowin'

This is a perfect example of a very happy sub-adult Lawnmower Blenny! He is mowing down nuisance hair algae for the aquarist. It's like a human being surrounded by steak, or for those vegetarians, humus! These helpful gobblers of the green live up to 6 years as stated by some aquarists, however, most only report a life span of 2 to 4 years. This is possibly due to the fact that they need such large amounts of algae to survive, however will resort to meaty foods being offered, which is just not good for them! Make sure your tank is at least 55 gallons with no other algae eaters and your little brown and cream landscaper will be happy as a clam!

Salarias fasciatus (Lawnmower Blenny)
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Up close and personal!

What an AWESOME video of the adorably ugly fish we all employ in our tanks at one time or another. The Lawnmower Blenny is a little 5" fish with the appetite of a tang! And he doesn't just stop at ONE type of algae like our picky tangs, he will eat it all! If it is green, it is gone! These guys will even eat the algae off the bases of LPS so the algae won't encroach! Gotto love this fish! Provide ALOT of algae growth and supplement with spirulina flake and sinking pellets! No meaty foods for this herbivore!

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Maintenance difficulty:    The Lawnmower Blenny is easy to keep if provided the right environment with plenty of algae. They are ideal for a large reef environment. Provide plenty of caves and hiding places.

Maintenance/Foods:    This fish is a primarily an algae eater, munching on the microalgae that grows in your aquarium (varieties of hair and string algae). This along with commercially prepared herbivore foods such as marine and spirulina algae will provide a suitable diet.

Habitat: Natural geographic location:    The Lawnmower Blenny are found in the Indo-Pacific; East Africa and Red Sea to Micronesia

Social Behaviors:    This blenny is generally peaceful with other fish, with a possible exception being its own kind and other similar blennies. It is best kept singly, or possibly as a male/female pair.

Sex: Sexual differences:   Both male and female blennies have two spines in the anal fin. In the female one or both may be smaller or even embedded while on the male they may be capped with a fleshy tissue.

Breeding/Reproduction:    We have found no information at this time on breeding the Lawnmower Blenny (2/21/06). However it is known that some blennies lay demersal eggs that are guarded by the male.

Light: Recommended light levels:    No special requirements.

Temperature:    They enjoy tropical waters. Temperatures between 75 - 84° F (24 – 29° C) will suit this blenny fine.

Length/Diameter of fish:    Lawnmower Blenny adults can grow to 5 inches (12.7 cm).

Minimum Tank Length/Size:    A minimum 30 gallon aquarium is recommended.

Water Movement: Weak, Moderate, Strong    No special requirements.

Water Region: Top, Middle, Bottom   The Lawnmower Blenny usually spends most of its time perched on rockwork or live rock near the bottom. A bottom dweller.

Availability:    The Lawnmower Blenny is readily available and is inexpensive.

Author: David Brough. CFS.
Lastest Animal Stories on Lawnmower Blenny

Mrs.Kim - 2013-09-12
I luv,luv,luv my Blennie. He is by far the most adorable fish in the tank. I bought him an infused three piece barnacle that he calls home, I call it his condo, and he prefers the top floor his penthouse. He'll sit in the top barnacle and watch while you do maintenance,feed, or really anything in the tank.He is so well blended with the rocks, that it takes a minute to find him, and when you do, he's watching you look for him. He is lots-O-fun. He is a must for any tank out there. I must add, that I luv the little kisses he leaves on the glass when eating. It has the looks of little lips everywhere !!

Pamela - 2009-01-09
When we bought our lawnmower blennie, my husband thought he was ugly, but I fell in love with him right away. He has EYELASHES! How could ya not love a fish with eyelashes? And he kisses. We love him. We also have a scooter blennie, who is just as adorable as 'lennie the blennie'

Shawn Handley Jr. - 2012-04-29
I was thinking about purchasing and setting up a 20 gallon saltwater or small reef tank. Could anybody give me a rough etimate how much everything would cost? thanks

  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-04-30
    Really depends on what region you live in and filters and tools you pick. Prices vary greatly.
Ken - 2012-02-09
I lived in Monterey Bay, CA for a while. There were tons of these along the shoreline. Why doesn't the map show them off the Californian coast? Is it a different type? Or just likely that they have been introduced into the area on purpose or accident?

  • Clarice Brough - 2012-02-16
    The map for the Lawnmower Blenny shows the distribution points where it has had recorded sitings. A number of Combtooth blennies of the Blenniidae family are found off the coasts of California belonging to the Hypsoblennius genus. The look very similar to the Lawnmower Blenny. Three common species are the Rockpool blenny H. gilberti, Mussel blenny H. jenkinsi, and Bay blenny H. gentilis.