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The Sabertooth blennies in Cabo Pulmo National Park did not mimic the wrasses—a typical behavior—but instead aggressively attacked larger fishes including Leopard Groupers (Mycteroperca rosacea).
AUTHORS: Galland, G.R., Aburto-Oropeza, O. and Hastings, P.A.
DATE: November 2010
The Sabertooth Blenny (Plagiotremus azaleus) is a widespread scale-eating blenny endemic to the tropical eastern Pacific. It relies on mimicry of the initial phase of the Cortez Rainbow Wrasse (Thalassoma lucasanum) to get to potential prey. Typically, there is an average of 160 wrasses per blenny. However, at reef sites in Cabo Pulmo National Park during 2010, large schools (up to 100) of blennies were observed outnumbering wrasses. The blennies did not mimic the wrasses, but instead aggressively attacked larger fishes including Leopard Groupers (Mycteroperca rosacea). This article shed light on differences in Sabertooth Blenny behavior and lifestyle that can help identify the uniqueness of Cabo Pulmo reefs.