Scooter Blenny

Ocelatted Dragonet ~ Scooter Dragonet

Family: Callionymidae Picture of a Scooter Blenny, Ocelatted Dragonet, or Scooter DragonetSynchiropus ocellatusPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough
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Scooter blenny was my favorite too. I say "was" because he passed on yesterday. I had a lot of algae on the rocks in my 65 gallon berlin style reef and... (more)  Ruth

   The Scooter Blenny, also called the Ocelatted Dragonet or Scooter Dragonet, can be quite hardy, but they will do best and are happiest in a large reef!

   Typical of the dragonets, the Scooter Blenny is a small fish with a rather large head. and large ventral fins that it uses to perch on rocks as it moves around. Its eyes are mounted on top of the head busily looking around, and its mouth is small and pointed. Typical coloring consists of a starry pattern of black with white blotches and bright blue spots on the head, making for great camouflage in their natural habitat.

   NOTE: The dragonet shown above is commonly called the Scooter Blenny. However, many similar species are loosely grouped and sold under the name "Scooter" because of their manner of "scooting" along the substrate of the aquarium. They can also look very similar, and it is difficult to keep them all straight even, in the marine trade industry. You may have to research your "Scooter Blenny" to determine for sure just which fish you have!

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

Geographic Distribution
Synchiropus ocellatus
Data provided by
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Perciformes
  • Family: Callionymidae
  • Genus: Synchiropus
  • Species: ocellatus
Horseface Blenny, Ophioblennius atlanticus
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Little blenny bites giant stingray.

This video is a perfect example of the fierce nature the Horseface Blenny has when it comes to guarding their home! This diver caught the blenny biting the tail of the stingray! House in a tank that is at least 75 gallons with no other algae eaters. Other fish should be at least twice their size and not bottom dwellers. They are great in aggressive tanks where they can hold their own against large dottybacks and triggerfish.

Scooter Blenny, Synchiropus ocellatus
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Scooter Blenny male and female spawning

These Scooter Blennies show that it is quite easy to have spawning in captivity. They need a lot of live food found on live rock like copepods and small amphipods. Each Scooter Blenny needs 100 pounds of live rocks that is supporting these little inverts. Tank raised Scooters will adapt to eating small pellets and should not be housed with aggressive, fast eating tank mates that will outcompete them for food. Wild caught that have plenty of live rock can be housed with such fast eaters, however. The male has a large first dorsal fin that he displays to attract his female.

Scooter Blenny feeding, Synchiropus ocellatus
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Captive Scooter Blenny

Scooter Blennies, like the well known Mandarinfish are difficult and only intermediate to advanced aquarists should attempt to keep them. Unless the Scooter is eating pellets, they need a tank that has at least 100 pounds of mature, established, and copepod ridden live rock. If they are trained to eat small pellets, some aquarists will put them in a small jar that only the Scooter can fit into and eat peacefully from. Males and females are known to readily spawn in captivity if well fed.

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Maintenance difficulty:    The Scooter Blenny can be easy to keep if provided the right environment and an adequate diet. This is very important. They are ideal in a large reef environment with lots of live rock. Algae growing on the live rock will provide a natural setting for the growth of tiny arthropods, a natural food for these fish. Provide a sandy substrate, with live sand being even better, and be sure there are plenty of caves and hiding places.

Maintenance/Foods:    The Scooter Blenny or Ocellated Dragonet eats small crustaceans and other small marine organisms. They will sift through the sand looking for food and the small pointed shape of their mouth is ideal for catching microfauna. Live brine is ideal for the aquarium, very small particles of meaty foods can also be offered.

Habitat: Natural geographic location:    The Scooter Blenny is found in the Pacific Ocean, from southern Japan to the Marquesan Islands.

Social Behaviors:    Typical they are peaceful with other fish. They can be kept singly or as a small group, though if you are going to have more than one you should introduce them all to the aquarium at the same time. It is best to keep two or three females with one male.

Sex: Sexual differences:   Males have a "flag shaped" dorsal fin which they use to signal females and deter other males.

Breeding/Reproduction:    We have found no information at this time (2/21/06), though would presume it to be very difficult due to the dragonet mating habits in nature.
   Dragonets rise straight up to the surface as a pair with their ventral sides together. As soon as they reach the surface the eggs and sperm are released (in about 15 seconds), and then they dive back to the bottom and bury themselves in the sand. They will do this only in areas where there is a strong surface current, that will carry and disperse the eggs over a large area. Some dragonets have been known to migrate far distances to find a suitable place with a strong current.

Light: Recommended light levels:    No special requirements.

Temperature:   A good temperature range for this marine fish is between 72 - 78° F. (22 – 26°C).

Length/Diameter of fish:    The Scooter Blenny or Ocellated Dragonet adults can grow to 5 inches (12.7 cm).

Minimum Tank Length/Size:    A minimum 30 gallon aquarium is recommended for a single fish, with a 55 gallon aquarium to house more.

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

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

Availability:    The Scooter Blenny or Ocellated Dragonet is readily available and is inexpensive.

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

Ruth - 2010-03-09
Scooter blenny was my favorite too. I say "was" because he passed on yesterday. I had a lot of algae on the rocks in my 65 gallon berlin style reef and not a lot of coral thanks to the Racoon Butteryfly (which are awesome to get rid of aiptasia btw if you don't care about losing all your mushrooms too). To decrease the algae I took 3 actions: decreased frozen food (mysis etc.) from 2 cubes per day to 1 for all 8 fish; turned off the MH--actinic blue fluorescent only each day for 12 hours; stepped up 10% water changes/vacuuming from every 2 weeks to every week. Which killed the blenny? I swear he was eating but maybe it wasn't enough. You be the judge and comments welcome.

  • Tyler seyfert - 2014-06-14
    How long have you had your scooter, they eat really small copepods that reproduce normally in your sump so its possible he didn't have any food to eat
Ruthie - 2008-12-03
I just came home with my spouse and took a looked in the 50 gallon breeder tank, and we found our two scooter blennies mating! What a suprise! As soon as we walked up to the tank though, they separated quicker than an 85 year old at the slot machine. After they separated we saw the eggs or sperm sacks, whatever they were. We don't know, does anyone have an answer for me? Are they egg layers or live birth fish? We have a 3 stripped damsel, Yellow tailed damesel, a yellow tang and a zebra tang, 3 turbo snails and 4 hermits and a sally light foot. Will all the rest eat the eggs if the scooters lay eggs? Thank you very much

  • nat - 2012-10-01
    My scooter blennie is not eating and it's not moving around like it used too and I think he will die. The tank has some algea on the glass and red stuff on the heater what should I do.
Anonymous - 2012-02-11
Alguien me puede ayudar estoy muy preocupado x qme acuario se ensucia mucho, le sale mucha cosa d color morado y manchas verdes y se las limpio y al sig dia otra vez . Le cambio el agua c/ 8dias y nada my anemona y blenny estan muy tristes porfavor aconsejenme.clownfish y yelowtail blue estan muy bien en el mismo acuario. Gracias.

  • Alex Burleson - 2012-02-11
    ¡Hola! Es lamentable que usted está experimentando los problemas con tu acuario. Sin embargo, hay esperanza. Cambiar el 25% del agua cada 7 días, o una vez por semana. Asegúrese de que el acuario no está cerca de la luz del sol, y asegurarse de que la luz en el acuario, sólo lo hace durante 6-8 horas diarias. Ni más ni menos. Espero que esto ayude! Por favor, disculpe la calidad de mi español, soy un hablante nativo de Inglés.
shelly - 2011-02-28
I have a 55 gal aquarium that I just went to from a 30 gal. The guy I bought it from had crushed shells and coral on the bottom so I left it. Now I wanted to go and get the scooter blenny that I have wanted so bad and was told no because it must have a sand bottom. Anyone out there that can tell me different?

  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-03-01
    Add a layer of live sand. I have mixed it before and my blennies did just fine. Really do not recommend removing crushed shells because you already have all the established colonies in your existing substrate.