Bluestriped Fangblenny Click to enlarge image
A Bluestriped Fangblenny at a depth of 11 m, Mantis Reef, Wreck Bay, northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, December 2001. Image: Erik Schlögl
© Erik Schlögl

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    rhinorhynchos
    Genus
    Plagiotremus
    Family
    Blenniidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 12 cm in length.

Introduction

The Bluestriped Fangblenny is found in tropical marine waters. It is an aggressive species that mimics other species in order to get close to its prey.

Identification

The adult Bluestriped Fangblenny is black to orange-yellow with two narrow blue stripes on the side of the body that extend from the snout to the caudal peduncle. Randall, Allen and Steene (see further reading) state that the orange-yellow colour phase resembles the colouration of the harmless female Scalefin Anthias. This allows the adult Bluestriped Fangblenny to get close to its prey.

The juvenile Bluestriped Fangblenny mimics the Striped Cleaner Wrasse. It is blue with a black stripe that extends from the snout to the caudal peduncle.

Habitat

It is found on coral reefs and lagoons at depths from 1 m to 40 m.

Distribution

The Bluestriped Fangblenny occurs in tropical marine waters of the Indo-West and Central Pacific, from the Red Sea, north to Japan, throughout Micronesia, south to Australia and east to the Marquesas Islands.

In Australia the Bluestriped Fangblenny is known from off the north-western coast of Western Australia around the tropical north of the country, and south to the southern coast of New South Wales.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.



Feeding and diet

The Bluestriped Fangblenny is an aggressive fish that mimics other species in order to get close to its prey. It attacks rapidly, biting off small pieces of tissue, mucus and scales.

References

  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
  2. Allen, G.R. & R. Swainston. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 201.
  3. Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. Coral Graphics. Pp. 330.
  4. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 251.