Higher classification Plagiotremus
|Scientific name Plagiotremus rhinorhynchos|
Similar Plagiotremus, Blennies, Meiacanthus, Combtooth blenny, Mimic blenny
bluestriped fangblenny plagiotremus rhinorhynchos
Plagiotremus rhinorhynchos, commonly called the bluestriped fangblenny, is a species of combtooth blenny found in coral reefs in the Pacific and Indian ocean. This species reaches a length of 12 centimetres (4.7 in) SL. It is also known as the bluestriped blenny, bluestriped sabretooth blenny, blunt-nose blenny, cleaner mimic, tube-worm blenny or the two-stripe blenny. They hide in deserted worm tubes or other small holes.
From before birth, their eggs are demersal and adhesive and attach to substrates via a filamentous adhesive pad or pedestal. The bluestriped fangblenny can attain around 90mm in length. Two distinct colour phases of this fish are present; blue with a black stripe from snout to tail, or orange with two narrow blue lines from snout to tail. Unlike most blennies, the bluestriped fangblenny is free swimming. Adults inhabit clear, coral-rich areas of lagoon and seaward reefs and it is fairly common on both coral and rocky reefs, usually occurring singly or in pairs. They are known for being aggressive and feed on skin, mucus and sometimes other fish scales. They bite divers when alarmed.
Bluestriped fangblenny mimic the juveniles of bluestreak cleaner wrasse to enable them to loiter at cleaner stations and dupe clients waiting to be cleaned. Juveniles also mimic the cleaner wrasse Labroides dimidiatus. Their success in this aggressive mimicry is, like Batesian mimicry, frequency-dependent: it works best when the mimic is rare compared to the genuinely symbiotic cleaner fish.