The Blackline Blenny, Meiacanthus nigrolineatus, is also known as the Black-lined Fangblenny. It is a member of the “Fang Blennies”, a group of free-swimming venomous Blennies that are often difficult to keep as wild-caught fish, but are almost ubiquitously cultured and available as captive-bred fishes often for substantially lower prices than wild-caught counterparts. This species is noteworthy in that the Red Sea Mimic Blenny, Ecsenius gravieri, is a non-venomous mimic of M. nigrolineatus. Casual observation may cause confusion between M. nigrolineatus and the related M. atrodorsalis, which is similarly patterned blue anterior, yellow posterior. However, M. atrodorsalis has a black line through the eye, and yellow barring on the lyretail (M. nigrolineatus has a clear tail as a juvenile typically, which can develop black bars on top and bottom with age).
All Fang Blennies benefit from frequent small feedings throughout the day. The bite of a Fang Blenny is suggested to be similar to a bee-sting; take appropriate precautions when handling this fish.
The size of juvenile Fang Blennies varies, but the fish available are generally between 1.25″ and 2″ in length, sometimes more. If you have specific size requests or concerns, please include them with your order.
Word to the wise – I’ve found all Fang Blennies to be consummate jumpers. Tight fitting lids with little to no gaps are ideal. Put them in open-top tanks at your own risk!