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The White Blenny

By March 15, 2017October 11th, 2017Fish, Reef Critters

The white blenny, also known as the White Fang Blenny, Smith’s Blenny or even Disco Blenny (I guess he likes to groove) is probably the most active and most visible inhabitant of my own little nano reef. It is a striking beauty and has quickly become one of my favorite fish. Surprisingly, there is not a lot of information to be found on the web about this critter. So let’s dig a little deeper in the qualities and characteristics of the white blenny.

Black & white sticker

White Blenny

You can recognize the white blenny by its long stretched body, mainly white/light greyish color, the long black dorsal fin that covers its entire back and the “eyeliner” with bright white stroke around it. Hence my critter’s name… “Mascara”!

When feeling threatened, the white blenny will change to a darker grey color with camouflage pattern. The funny thing is that it will also just stick or curl its body to or around any surface and hold still, playing dead. This works remarkable well as it’s sometimes difficult to find him, or I’m just getting old…

White Blenny or fang Blenny

White Blenny Fish

You may wonder where its other name, Fang Blenny, comes from. The White Fang Blenny has hidden fangs that can be used to attack crustaceans or other fish. However, I have found that it isn’t aggressive at all and I have never seen her strike at other fish or any crustaceans. The only thing I’ve seen “Mascara” do is strike at the shell of one of my snails when it crawled a bit too close to her. Anyway it’s just a funny sight but doesn’t do much harm. As I read about the fact that they like crustaceans, my main concern was that she would attack the porcelain or hermit crabs. But they all seem to be living together peacefully.

The only “problem” I had was that Hector Goby “Hector II” really freaked out the first time he saw “Mascara”, probably because they have more or less the same body shape. But after 2 days they got along.

Nervous fellow with a large appetite

It is the only fish in the tank at the moment that is constantly swimming, checking its environment, swimming around obstacles and exploring every inch of the tank. It is a very active fish that only takes a break from swimming at night or when feeling threatened.

Its diet consists of just about anything as it is an omnivore. Although she doesn’t seem to accept frozen food like cyclops or red plankton. Which is quite strange as she eats any other frozen food. Occasionally I drop in some dead shrimps, one of her favorite treats.

The funny thing is, when the shrimp sinks to the bottom, “Mascara” is the only fish that dares to grab it from the sandbed. Once it’s floating around, the others join in until it reaches the sandbed again. This is probably due to their nature of eating small crustaceans.

Bedtime jumper

A nice thing to experience is when the lights go out and it’s time to go to sleep. She will look for a place to stick to, active “camouflage” mode and will stay there for the rest of the night. In the beginning she slept on my cleaning magnet, later on she was sticking vertically to the glass, which gave us quite the headache. Every time one of the snails would touch her at night, she would shoot straight up. Luckily our bedroom is very close to the tank so I could hear this. 3 times she jumped out like this, so she was very lucky I could put her back in each time without any bruises.

Lately, she likes to curl up in the corner on the soft GSP bed, very peaceful to watch. She has grown quite fond of this place. When one of the hermit crabs was sitting in the same place, she decided to sleep on top of the hermit for the rest of the night. Talking about dedication.

Reef safe beauty

The White Blenny has absolutely become one of my favorite fishes, especially for a nano reef. Always exploring and providing some entertainment, she’s probably the equivalent of a hermit in a fish body. The very elegant looks, the fact she’s always swimming in sight and her fearless but peaceful character make her a great addition to any saltwater aquarium. The White Blenny has a fixed sex, which makes breeding a not so easy task in captivity, but if you look long enough, you will be able to find some captive breds. If you do, don’t doubt and get one of these beauties!

Do you have a White Blenny in your tank? What is your experience with it? Let me know in the comments below!

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Gina says:

    I just got 1 as I have a mean 6 line & needed something that would be able to put it in its place & so far she’s left it alone (6 line CONSTANTLY smacks & annoys my red scooter)! It does have a place it sleeps along a rock w/my scooter, likes the macro algae that provides cover for it. I do love it’s markings & still trying to name it. It’s not been aggressive 1 iota & so far only eats pellet food which it pulls from the bottom, won’t touch frozen mysis or flakes so far as my bicolor loves.

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