11 Fin-tastic Facts About The Shanny For Kids

Shanny facts that it is also called Soft blenny ( Blennius pholis.

Have you ever been rock-pooling along the rocky coasts? Then you might have seen these cute fishes living in them, which fall into this tiny universe created ashore by tides. It is pretty tricky to search for a Shanny if it stays still because its mottled color dispenses excellent camouflage. They are commonly called Shanny and belong to the species of Combtooth blenny. The other names it has are Soft blenny, Common blenny, or Blennius pholis. The scientific name of Shanny is Liphophrys pholis. They are widespread along the northeastern Atlantic Ocean and Western Medditerian. They are located in Norway and continued along with Madeira and Morocco. They are familiar along the shores of Ireland and Britain. This European scaleless blenny varies in color depending on the habitat they live in and has dark spots all over their bodies. They eat diversified foods like barnacles, seaweeds, and shrimps.

As you go through our article, you can find exciting, fun facts about European shanny, also known as Blenius pholis. If you want to learn more interesting facts about aquatic buddies, then check out our articles on Angelfish and Sardines.


Fact File

What do they prey on?

Crustaceans, plants, insects, barnacles, snails, amphipods, algae

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

0.25 lb (112 g)

How long are they?

6.3 in (16 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?


Skin Type

Wet, slimy, scaleless

What are their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Rockpools, shallow waters, beneath seaweeds


Eastern Atlantic, rocky European shores





Scientific Name

Lipophrys pholis





Shanny Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Shanny?

A Shanny or Blennius pholis is a small blenny living in the shallow water that belongs to the species Combtooth blenny of the family Blenniidae.

What class of animal does a Shanny belong to?

A Shanny belongs to the class of Actinopterygii.

How many Shanny ​are there in the world?

There are about 900 species of blennies widespread in the world. The exact number of Shanny is unknown but is very common in rock pools of European waters.

Where does a Shanny ​live?

A Shanny lives along the coastal lines and inshore waters. They live in rock pools in crevices or under boulders.

What is Shanny's habitat?

A Shanny is an intertidal species living in the rock pools along the coasts in shallow waters. This European blenny can live under rocks and seaweeds.

Who does Shanny live with?

A Shanny can live together with similar species of similar sizes, but most of the time, it prefers to live independently.

How long does a Shanny ​live

A Blennius pholis lives as long as 10 years.

How do they reproduce?

A Shanny is oviparous and reproduces by laying eggs. In a breeding season, female Shanny spawns three times. A male is not monogamous and mates with many females. They mate in pairs. A female displays courtship more frequently. Female lay eggs between the months of April and August and under the rocks of the intertidal zone, and eggs are 1.5 mm in diameter. The eggs submerge in water and adhere to the base. The male Shanny protects the eggs, during which its color change to dark with the white mouth. During the autumn season, we can see the floating larvae of Shanny on the shores.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of Shanny is Least Concern as per the IUCN.

Shanny Fun Facts

What does a Shanny ​look like?

A Shanny is a small, slimy, and scaleless blenny with an elongated body and a blunt head with large eyes located high on the head. As they grow old, elongated skin can be seen on their forehead. The color of Shanny varies depending on the habitat, but it usually is brownish with yellow or green spots. Along the body, there are vertical bars of dark spots. One notable, large, black spot can be seen at the origin of the dorsal fin.

A Shanny is also known as Common Blenny(Blennius Pholis.

How cute are they?

A Shanny is one of the cutest blenny fishes to add to our aquariums. It is fun to watch these usually calm, less tempered, and hyper-alert blenny.

How do they communicate?

They communicate using visual and chemical communications, especially during mating.

How big is a Shanny?

A Shanny is as big as 6.3 in long. Generally, a male Shanny is more significant than a female Shanny. The tompot blenny is two times larger than Shanny.

How fast can a Shanny swim?

The speed of the Shanny is not known, but they are known to be shy and move quickly to hide behind weeds and rocks. They are also rockhoppers and jump from one rock pool to the other and are called Sea frogs. Blennius pholis are called Sea frogs also because they can survive out of the water on low tide and will jump back into waters just like a frog.

How much does a Shanny weigh?

A Shanny weighs nearly 0.25 lb.

What are the male and female names of the species?

They do not have any specific names for male and female species. They are just called male Shanny and female Shanny.

What would you call a baby Shanny?

A baby Shanny is called larvae.

What do they eat?

A Shanny eats sea invertebrates like amphipods, barnacles, snails, and sometimes algae. A minor part of their diet consists of mollusks, limpets, isopods, and mussels.

Are they dangerous?

They are not at all dangerous. A Shanny is a peaceful blenny (Blennius pholis) but may bite when we try to hold it.

Would they make a good pet?

A Shanny can be a great pet to keep in our aquarium as they are active during the day and do not grow too large. It is also fun to watch a Shanny digging the substrate to hide. They make peaceful and happy aquatic friends if their natural habitat is reflected in the captivative tank. So, it is always vital to arrange small nooks and corners for them to hide. A Shanny is semi-aggressive and can coexist in the same tank with nearly the same-minded fishes. Often clean the tank to keep them healthy and while doing that, make sure you do not put your hands in the tank because blenny (Blennius pholis) is known to bite. Closing the tank is also very vital as Blennius pholis are good jumpers.

Did you know...

A Shanny means a small brownish to green European scaleless blenny with dark spots and belongs to the family Blenniidae, which is seen along the rocky shores, rock pools, and intertidal waters. The general meaning of Shanny is shy or silly. The name Shanny is given to this blenny (Blennius pholis), maybe because of its shy nature. The origin of this word is unknown.

Can we eat a Shanny?

Yes, we can eat a Shanny, and it is common fish to eat and is commercially sold as Ocean Catfish.

What are the special features of Shanny?

A Shanny belongs to the species of Combtooth blenny (Blennius pholis), and as the name suggests, their jaws are lined with comb-like teeth. They are slim fishes with an elongated body and have big eyes high on its head. They have green spots and yellow spots along their brownish body. There are some vertical lines of dark spots on the sides. A big spot at the origin of the dorsal fin is a very special feature of Shanny.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fishes from our Black Molly fun facts and banjo catfish facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Shanny coloring pages.



At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.

Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.

Sponsorship & Advertising Policy

Kidadl is independent and to make our service free to you the reader we are supported by advertising.

We hope you love our recommendations for products and services! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.

Kidadl has a number of affiliate partners that we work with including Amazon. Please note that Kidadl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.

We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.

Read our Sponsorship & Advertising Policy
Get The Kidadl Newsletter

1,000 of inspirational ideas direct to your inbox for things to do with your kids.

Thank you! Your newsletter will be with you soon.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
No items found.
No items found.