Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Earl, our Lawnmower Blenny

We recently purchased Earl, our lawnmower blenny. We have some algae cropping up on our live rock, and he seemed like an easier way to get rid of it rather than scrubbing the rock weekly with a brush (although I have to do that too). He was described as "drab and boring" but I love him! He's very active and always munching on algae. When I pass by, he stops to stare at me like, "What do you want?" and then continues grazing. He's got lots of personality. When he's done eating, he perches in a cave in the live rock and peeks out, surveying the tank from above.
At first, I thought he was going to go after Scooter (our little scooter blenny). He kept charging and attacking him. Argh! Another blenny gone bad? It turned out to be just play. Scooter could have easily gotten away and taken up residence somewhere else in the tank; they have plenty of room. However, Scooter seemed to enjoy "teasing" Earl. He would swim into Earl's space and munch away at the live rock, right in Earl's algae patch! Earl would charge Scooter, and Scooter ignored him, pretending he wasn't there at all! Now the two hang out and actually seem to enjoy each other's company. I guess those guys are Kings of the Mountain when it comes to the live rock.
It's so much fun to watch these guys in action!

Scooter, Earl's friend.
Facts on the Lawnmower Blenny
Scientific name: Salarias fasciatus
Diet: Herbivores; eat algae; supplement with green foods
Activity: Likes to munch on algae on live rock
Region: Indo Pacific
Compatibility: Reef safe, peaceful and hardy
Size: Max 5"

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