Hairtail Blenny, Xiphasia setifer

The Hairtail Blenny (Xiphasia setifer), or the snake blenny, is a species of combtooth blenny that can be found in the western Pacific and the Indian Ocean. This species achieves a length of 21 inches and is the longest species of combtooth blenny. This species can also be found in the aquarium trade.

This blenny can be distinguished by its extremely elongate body with a high dorsal fin originating in front of the two large eyes. It has two enormous curved fangs, one on either side near the front of the lower jaw. It is brownish-yellow colored with a series of brown bars. It has a blue-edged black ocellus anteriorly on the dorsal fin.

The species grows to about 53 centimeters long.

It can be found in tropical and warm temperate marine waters of the Indo-West Pacific. The depth range regarding this fish is 2 to 1,990 meters. Within Australia, it is recorded from the central coast of Western Australia, around the tropical north and south to southern New South Wales. It can be seen on sandy or muddy substrates.

It also resides in the burrows of other fishes. It enters burrows tail first.

Image Caption: Hairtail blenny (Xiphasia setifer) Swainson, 1839. Credit: Steve Childs/Wikipedia (CC BY 2.0)