Animal Species:Piano Fangblenny, Plagiotremus tapeinosoma (Bleeker, 1857)

The Piano Fangblenny can be recognised by the wavy black stripe (or series of connected vertically elongate blotches) along the side of the body. This species occurs primarily in coral reef and inshore waters.

Piano Fangblenny at Fly Point

Piano Fangblenny at Fly Point
Photographer: Dave Harasti © Dave Harasti

Standard Common Name

Piano Fangblenny

Alternative Name/s

Hit And Run Blenny, Mimic Blenny, Piano Blenny, Sabretooth Benny, Violet-banded Blenny, Yellow Sabretooth Blenny


The Piano Fangblenny is an elongate fish that can be recognised by the wavy black stripe (or series of connected vertically elongate blotches) along the side of the body. The margins of the dorsal and anal fins are black.

Size range

The species grows to about 13 cm in length.


This species occurs in tropical Indo-West and Central Pacific waters. In Australia it is known from south-western Western Australia, around the tropical north of the country and south on the east coast 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.

Plagiotremus tapeinosoma Ozcam map of Piano Fangblenny specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?


It occurs primarily in coral reef and inshore waters.

Feeding and Diet

The species uses its two large fangs to feeds on the on skin, mucous and sometimes scales of other fishes. One of the Piano Fangblenny’s common names, the ‘Hit and Run Blenny’ describes the typical feeding behaviour that comprises a rapid attack then retreat to safety.



What does this mean?


  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
  2. 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.Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  4. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.

Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags Fishes, Ichthyology, Piano Fangblenny, Plagiotremus tapeinosoma, Blenniidae, black, white, yellow, odd-shaped, 10 cm - 30 cm, stripes or bands, coral reef, marine, adult,