Linespot Fangblenny (species: Meiacanthus grammistes) in taxonomy (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Meiacanthus grammistes
Linespot Fangblenny

©Anne Hoggett: Meiacanthus grammistes, Lizard Island lagoon

©Andy Lewis: An adult Linespot Fangblenny
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Perciformes
Family Blenniidae
Genus Meiacanthus
Species Meiacanthus grammistes



Distinguishing features

A small white fish with three black stripes running horizontally along the body, and a yellowish wash over the front half of the body. The fine black spots on the tail distinguish it from the closely related Meiacanthus lineatus. Found singly or in small groups swimming close to the bottom or hovering stationary above a coral.


  • Up to 11 cm (Standard length)

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.


Similar taxa


©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

Shallow reef tops in lagoonal areas.

Found in most reef habitats around the island not exposed to heavy wave action.


The Linespot Fangblenny possesses a venom gland, and this together with the long fangs, means most other fish avoid this species. There are many examples of other fishes mimicking the colouration of Fangblennies in order to take advantage of the warning colour scheme (see pictures in Randall 2005).

Web resources


  • Caley, M.J. (1991). Mechanisms of coexistence in communities of coral-reef fishes, Ph.D. thesis, University of Sydney. LIRS catalog number 307.
  • Caley, M.J. (1995). Community dynamics of tropical reef fishes: local patterns between latitudes, Marine Ecology Progress Series, 129: 7-18. LIRS catalog number 447.
  • Caley, M.J. (1995). Reef fish community structure and dynamics: in interaction between local and larger-scale processes? Marine Ecology Progress Series, 129: 19-29. LIRS catalog number 448.
  • View all references