Striped Fang Blenny

Striped Fang Blenny Meiacanthus grammistes

Type of Animal:
Combtooth Blenny

Reefs & reef-associated waters, open ocean, shallow saltwater/brackish estuaries, found at depths of 3.28-65.6 ft

W Pacific

Small stout deep-bodied fish w/ pointed snout & long continuous dorsal fin, alternating black & yellow stripes, large fangs protrude from lower jaw, males larger than females

Brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, krill, amphipods, copepods, isopods, algae, spirulina, seaweed

Status in Wild:

Breeding in aquariums & aquaculture. Captive-breeding reducing demand for wild-caught fish.

Solitary or small harems of a male w/ 1-4 females

Additional Info:

Young: Fry
Group: Colony

2 weeks

Life Span:
3-4 years

Body Length:
Male: 3.5-4.5 in
Female: 3-3.3 in

These fish sometimes appear in aquarium trade.
Also called Striped Blenny, Grammistes Blenny, Line-Spot Harptail Blenny, & Striped Poison-Fang Blenny among others.
Mostly feed in mid-water.
These fish eat multiple small meals per day.
To breed, male entices female into hiding place where she deposits egg clumps, which male fertilizes/guards until hatching.
These fish rather agile often hovering in water column.
Males highly territorial w/ fights sometimes resulting in death.
Like other blennies, they’re good jumpers.
Eggs hatch as planktonic larvae.
Due to small size, single blenny can be kept in very small tank.

Fun Fact(s):
These fish mildly venomous w/ venom in fangs. Bites are painful but not deadly. Venom targets opioid receptors & used 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.
Coloration may serve as warning to potential predators.
Some fish species resemble this fish possibly for deterring predators.

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