Brown Sabretooth Blenny, Petroscirtes lupus Click to enlarge image
Head of a Brown Sabretooth Blenny from the Australian Museum Ichthyology Collection. The fish was trawled by the FRV Kapala at a depth around 15 m, off Tuncurry, New South Wales on 12 March 1991. Image: Mark McGrouther
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    lupus
    Genus
    Petroscirtes
    Family
    Blenniidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 13 cm in length.

Introduction

As its standard name suggests, the Brown Sabretooth Blenny has a pair of long, recurved canines in the front of the lower jaw.

Identification

The species can be recognised by its blunt downward-pointing snout, white spots, dark lateral blotches which are separated by lighter areas, and its long-based dorsal fin.

Habitat

It lives in sheltered bays and estuaries. Individuals are often seen inside shells, bottles or cans.

Distribution

The Brown Sabretooth Blenny occurs in Australia and New Caledonia. In Australia it is known from Queensland to southern 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.



Breeding behaviours

Female Brown Sabretooth Blennies often lay their eggs in empty mollusc shells. The eggs take about three weeks to hatch. During this time the males are sometimes seen guarding and fanning the eggs.

References

  1. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  2. Kuiter, R.H. in Gomon, M.F, Glover, C.J.M. & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. State Print, Adelaide. Pp. 992.
  3. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Crawford House Press. Pp. 437.
  5. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.