Bluestriped fangblenny – Description | Facts | Care | Mimicry

Bluestriped fangblenny

Bluestriped fangblenny, scientific name Plagiotremus rhinorhynchos is a species of combtooth blenny present in coral reefs within the Pacific and Indian oceans. This species reaches a size of 12 centimeters (4.7 in) SL.

It’s also referred to as the blue-striped blenny, blue striped sabretooth blenny, blunt-nosed blenny, cleaner mimic, tube-worm blenny, or the two-stripe blenny. They disguise in abandoned worm tubes or different small holes.

Bluestriped fangblenny Classification

Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Blenniidae
Genus: Plagiotremus
Species:P. rhinorhynchos

The Bluestriped fangblennyPlagiotremus rhinorhynchos) is often known as the bluestriped blenny, bluestriped sabretooth blenny, blunt-nosed blenny, cleaner mimic, tube-worm blenny, and the two-stripe blenny.

They’re very fascinating fish as they have a number of distinct colors that they’re able to change between and are in a position to mimic totally different species of fish at totally different instances utilizing their color altering skills.

This makes it one in every of solely two identified species that are in a position to change color to imitate multiple species, the mimic octopus being the opposite.

Blue-striped fangblenny Look

The Blue striped Fangblenny has an elongated physique with a steady dorsal fin and an anal fin that runs throughout two-thirds of the body.

The mouth is on the underside of the physique simply forward of the eyes. Located within the decrease jaw are two curved enamel which is obscured from view by the lips.

The physique has two primary color phases and is often both a darkish brown blackish color pictured above or a vivid orange pictured beneath, however is able to alter to a number of colors in between.

Two vivid gentle blue stripes run above and beneath the attention alongside the physique.

They’re nevertheless able to exhibit not less than 5 totally different color patterns as set out within the paragraph beneath.


The Bluestriped Fangblenny happens in tropical marine waters of the Indo-West and Central Pacific, from the Purple Sea, north to Japan, all through Micronesia, south to Australia, and east to the Marquesas Islands.

The Bluestriped Fangblenny happens all through the Indo-Pacific, from the East African Coast throughout to Southern Japan and right down to Lord Howe Island to the East of Australis. They’re discovered primarily on coral or rocky reefs and are sometimes seen hiding in unused tubeworm holes as seen beneath.

In Australia, the Bluestriped Fangblenny is thought from off the north-western coast of Western Australia across the tropical north of the nation, and south to the southern coast of New South Wales.

Bluestriped fangblenny Identification

The grownup Bluestriped Fangblenny is black to orange-yellow with two slender blue stripes on the aspect of the body that stretch from the snout to the caudal peduncle. Randall, Allen, and Steene (see additional studying) state that the orange-yellow color section resembles the coloration of the innocent feminine Scalefin Anthias.

This enables the grownup Bluestriped Fangblenny to get near its prey.

The juvenile Bluestriped Fangblenny mimics the Striped Cleaner Wrasse. It’s blue with a black stripe that extends from the snout to the caudal peduncle.


It’s discovered on coral reefs and lagoons at depths from 1 m to 40 m.

The fangblenny is a specialized mimic of juvenile Bluestreak cleaner wrasse.

These fish function cleaners to bigger host fish, which attend to have ectoparasites eliminated.

The fangblenny does no cleansing, however, bites the host fish and leaves.

Its opioid-containing venom helps it escape because it provides a pain-free chew which additionally dulls the host’s reactions.

Bluestriped fangblenny Description

From earlier than the beginning, their eggs are demersal and adhesive and fasten to substrates through a filamentous adhesive pad or pedestal.

The bluestriped fangblenny can attain around 90mm in size.

Two distinct color phases of this fish are current; blue with a black stripe from snout to tail, or orange with two slender blue traces from snout to tail.

Not like most blennies, the blue-striped fang blenny is free-swimming.

Adults inhabit clear, coral-rich areas of lagoon and seaward reefs and it’s pretty frequent on each coral and rocky reefs, often occurring singly or in pairs.

They’re identified for being aggressive and feed on pores and skin, mucus, and typically different fish scales. They chew divers when alarmed.

Aggressive mimicry

Bluestriped fangblenny mimics the juvenile Bluestreak cleaner wrasse, Labroides dimidiatus, to allow them to loiter at cleaner stations and dupe shoppers ready to be cleaned.

Their success on this aggressive mimicry is, like Batesian mimicry, frequency-dependent:

it really works greatest when the mimic is uncommon in comparison with the genuinely symbiotic cleaner fish.

The fangblenny has an uncommon adaptation for biting and escaping without being pursued: its chew is pain-free because it has a venom containing morphine-like opioids, which dulls ache and reduces blood stress.

The autumn within the host’s blood stress makes it lose coordination, simply as a human feels dizzy when blood stress is low, giving the fangblenny time to flee.

This may increasingly clarify why different coral reef fish mimic the fang blenny.

Animal mimics can resemble different species with exceptional accuracy.

Many people are most accustomed to innocent mimics that resemble a distinct species that are poisonous or toxic.

These poisonous or toxic species are sometimes brilliantly colored and showy, relying extra on predators avoiding them for his or her bitter style and noxious results than their capacity to cover.

And the mimics completely resemble their poisonous or toxic counterparts so the identical predators keep away from them too.

Bluestriped fangblenny

The blue striped fang blenny, a coral reef fish in Australia and Indonesia, takes this mimicry technique to a complete new stage.

The blue-striped fangblenny does not merely appear like one other species, however, it could actually change its look to resemble any of three totally different species, relying on who occurs to be round!

When surrounded by olive-colored damselfish, they tackle an olive hue.

When surrounded by yellow anthias, they flip orangey-yellow.

However, their most spectacular costume is that of the black and blue striped juvenile cleaner wrasse.

And when they don’t seem to be around a species they mimic, they revert to a brown shade and conceal.

Apparently, the species that the bluestriped fangblennies mimic are usually not poisonous or toxic.

They’re downright good reef residents! So what would fang blennies get out of the capability to appear like them?

It seems bluestriped fangblennies are usually not such peaceable reef residents themselves.

They eat items off the fins, scales, or mucus of different bigger fish by darting out and taking a chew earlier than the massive fish can flip around and retaliate.

This sneak-up-and-bitecha technique is best when the bigger fish is unaware of the fangblenny’s presence.

A fangblenny that may appear like the friendliest fish on the reef can be better off.

Within the Wild

The Bluestriped Fangblenny has been discovered to have the power to alter its coloration to imitate a number of totally different species relying on its location and surrounding inhabitants.

In an examination performed in Indonesia, the researchers recognized 5 totally different color variations related to behavioral and environmental adjustments that the Bluestripe Fangblenny used to imitate different fish.

They have been a black physique with one neon blue lateral stripe to imitate the Blue Streak Cleaner Wrasse (Labroides dimidiatus), a black/darkish brown with two lateral blue physique stripes to imitate Chrysiptera parasema, a brown with two gentle blue/white body stripes to imitate Thalassoma amblycephalum, olive with two gentle blue/white physique stripes to imitate Chromis Viridis and an orange physique with two gentle blue/white stripes to imitate Pseudanthias huchtii and Pseudanthias dispar. Fairly actually a Chameleon like Mimic.


The Bluestriped Fangblenny is an aggressive fish that mimics different species to be able to get near its prey.

Bluestriped Fangblenny feeds completely on mucus, scales, and fins bitten off different fish. It assaults quickly, biting off small items of tissue, mucus, and scales.


Bluestriped Fangblenny is usually not generally stored in aquariums as a result of their weight-reduction plan and the hurt that they might undoubtedly do to their tank mates.

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