Meiacanthus kamoharai, the Kamohara Fang Blenny from Japan, is a fish made available to the masses only through the genius of captive propagation at a commercial scale. What was a few hundred dollars per fish only back in 2012 is now well under $100, hopefully to stay that way. The Kamohara Blenny has tremendous monochromatic good looks going for it and makes for an impressive display as an adult.
It is truly remarkable to have this species available today! Back in 2010, I lusted after the Kamohara Blenny, a Japanese endemic, and encouraged this species make its way to the US in a Reef Builders article, A Personal Ad From Meiacanthus kamoharai. A little more than 4 years later, ORA announced it was breeding this fish in captivity, answering the personal ad. It took another 18 months or so for production of the fish to reach the stage that I can obtain them to offer to you; I have to get them indirectly, and thus, they carry a bit of a premium compared to the retail prices offered on other websites. As I state elsewhere on the site…I’m not always going to be the cheapest!
The Kamohara Fang Blenny stands apart from the others; Mieacanthus kamoharai matures to have a broom-like caudal fin (tail). It goes through a coloration change as well; juveniles (the images shown here) have more spotting and striping on the flanks; that changes as the fish matures, with a white spotted head, white spotted black dorsal fin, silver streak running down the upper portion of an otherwise black flank leading into a white band on the caudal peduncle, and numerous extensions on the caudal fin which sometimes are black. Check out these photographic examples by John Randall and Ned DeLoach.
While Fishbase puts this max size on this species at only 6 cm, I would suggest remaining cautious. ORA reports their male broodstock attained sizes of 12 cm (5 inches), so plan accordingly. Given the subtropical origin of this species, it reportedly can tolerate temperatures between 60-80F, and is quite at home in a reef aquairum.
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!