Yellowtail Fang Blenny Click to enlarge image
A Yellowtail Fang Blenny at a depth of 24 m, Captains table, Wreck Bay, northern Great Barrier Reef, November 2001. Image: Erik Schlögl
© Erik Schlögl

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    atrodorsalis
    Genus
    Meiacanthus
    Family
    Blenniidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    It grows to 11 cm in length.

Introduction

The Yellowtail Fang Blenny is a distintively coloured fish that has an enormous curved, venomous fang on either side of the lower jaw.

Identification

The Yellowtail Fang Blenny is blue anteriorly and yellow posteriorly. There is a diagonal black stripe through the eye.

The species has a lunate caudal fin and an enormous curved, venomous fang on each side of the lower jar. The fangs, which are used for defence, are characteristic of the genus Meiacanthus.

Habitat

It is found on seaward reefs and lagoons at depths of 1m to 30m.

Distribution

The species 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 Marquesas Islands.

In Australia the Yellowtail Fang Blenny is known from 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 Yellowtail Fang Blenny is a solitary species that is usually seen hovering above the bottom feeding on zooplankton. It also feeds on benthic invertebrates.

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.