ANIMAL: Forktail Blenny Meiacanthus atrodorsalis Type of Animal: Combtooth Blenny Habitat: Lagoons, seaward reefs, coral reefs, steep cliffs, drop-offs, slopes, found from below surge zone all the way to 98.42 ft deep Location(s): W Pacific Appearance: Small fish species w/ fork-like tail fin, 2 long exterior spines, 5 shorter middle spines, pale blue body w/ bluish-yellow tail, compressed elongated body, males show more color when breeding Food/Diet: Mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, copepods, marine algae, microalgae Status in Wild: Stable Conservation: Captive breeding reducing demand for wild-caught fish Lifestyle: Small harems of a male w/ 1-6 females or solitary. Sometimes multiple harems found in close proximity. Additional Info: Called: Male Female Young: Fry Group: Colony Gestation: 10-14 days Life Span: 3-8 years Body Length: Male: 3.5-4.2 in Female: 2.8-3.3 in These fish sometimes appear in aquarium trade. Also called Yellowtail Fang Blenny, Lyretail Fang Blenny, Eyelash Harptail Blenny, Poison-Fang Blenny, & Yellowtail Poison-Fang Blenny. Like most blennies, they’re rather skittish. Due to small size, single blenny can be kept in very small tank. Eggs hatch as planktonic larvae. Like other blennies, they’re excellent jumpers. Due to this habit, they need to be kept in tightly sealed aquariums. These fish love to hide. They spend lots of time darting in water column. These fish eat multiple small meals per day. While shy & skittish, they’re also very curious. Active during the day (diurnal). Before spawning, male starts displaying to female. Female’s abdomen swells up at this time. Each egg batch has 100-300 eggs. Eggs typically hatch at night. Eggs adhere to substrate via filamentous adhesive pad/pedestal. Males guard eggs in time period prior to hatching. Fun Fact(s): Unlike many blennies, they have functional swim bladders. While agile swimmers when necessary, they prefer scooting in short jumps from spot to spot. Due to not many fish preying on this species, several other combtooth blenny species have evolved to mimic it. These fish mildly venomous w/ venom in fangs. Bites painful not deadly used primarily in defense. Venom reduces blood pressure of potential predators, making it relax jaws so blenny can escape. Some say venom similar to effects of heroin.