Sabertooth Blenny
Diente Sable, Borracho Veloz, Trambollito
(Plagiotremus azaleus)

Sabertooth Blenny, Plagiotremus azaleus: The Sabertooth Blenny has an elongated slender body with a long conical protruding snout that has a small mouth with a large canine tooth on each side of the lower jaw.

The Sabertooth Blenny has an overall dark coloration with a broad mid-lateral band that has a narrow white stripe immediately above. The long, low and unnotched dorsal fin originates before the small gill openings and has a blue-white outer edge. The lower part of the head and body are white. The anal fin base of the Sabertooth Blenny is also low and long and has four equally spaced black spots along its base. The Sabertooth Blenny has no lateral line.

The Sabertooth Blenny is a shallow water highly territorial diurnal (day time) predator that feeds mostly on bethic crustaceans including small crabs. It is not easily confused with other blennies due to it unique coloration pattern and large saber-like tooth.

The Sabertooth Blenny is found in the first 60 feet of the water column over weed covered rocky structure. It attains a maximum length of just over 5 inches.

Distribution in Mexico fishing areas

In Mexican fishing waters the Sabertooth Blenny has a limited distribution, being present along the Pacific Coast of Baja California, in the lower half of the Sea of Cortez, and along the coast of Mexico's mainland south to Guatemala. It is absent from around Mexico's oceanic islands. Due to its rarity and size the Sabertooth Blenny is of limited interest to most.

The Sabertooth Blenny of the Blenniidae or Combtooth Blenny Family whose members are known in Mexico fishing areas as borrachos. The blenniidaes are small bottom dwelling fishes that are characterized by a combination of an elongated body and a long based dorsal fin with fewer spines than soft rays. The diet of most consists of algae. They lay demersal eggs which are guarded by the male until hatching. At present there are 29 known species of Blennidae of which 7 are found in Mexican fishing areas . The Sabertooth Blenny is of the Plagiotremus Genus of which there are ten known species of which only one is found in Mexican waters.

Sabertooth Blenny picture

Sabertooth Blenny, Plagiotremus azaleus, Adult and Juvenile. First fish a very rare adult with collection made on the high seas with a bait net as it swam up to the panga. Swims like an eel or a snake and we have no idea what it was doing on the surface four miles at sea. Identification courtesy of Dr. Ross Robertson, Smithsonian Institute, Panama and reconfirmed by H.J. Walker, Jr., Scripps Institute of Oceanography, La Jolla, Calif. Size: 5.1 cm (2 inches). Description and photo courtesy of John Snow.

Sabertooth Blenny picture

Sabertooth Blenny, Plagiotremus azaleus: A very rare collection made on the high seas with a bait net as it swam up to the panga during a fishing trip. Swims like an eel or a snake and we have no idea what it was doing on the surface four miles at sea. Identification courtesy of Dr. Ross Robertson, Smithsonian Institute, Panama and reconfirmed by H.J. Walker, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, La Jolla, Calif. Size 2 inches. Description and photo courtesy of John Snow.

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