Found in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The Fang Blenny is a fascinating little guy. He is often referred to as a "mimic blenny", as he fools his victims into believing he is just another cleaner fish, mimicking the swimming habits of the bluestreak cleaner wrasse, and hanging around cleaning stations, waiting for the next unsuspecting client.
As a larger fish comes into a cleaning station to have parasites cleaned from its body and even inside its mouth, the fang blenny aggressively attacks and bites a chunk of scales, skin, and/or flesh, then beats a hasty retreat. How does he get away with it? A fang blenny does indeed have fangs, as his name would imply, and victims are injected with an opioid venom that both numbs the bite somewhat, and lowers their blood pressure, making their reactions slow and clumsy. What a nasty little fellow! Don't let that happy smile on his face fool you, they have been known to bite divers too!
I guess I should be happy that the fang blennies I encountered were wary of my presence, and retreated into their holes until I was gone!
Next Dive Against Debris scuba event:
June 2, 2019 10:00 am
Bonnie Boats, Jackson's Point