Crested Sabretooth Blenny, Petroscirtes mitratus Rüppell 1830

Other Names: Crested Sabre-tooth, Floral Blenny, Floral Fangblenny, Helmeted Blenny, Highfin Fangblenny, Highfinned Blenny, High-finned Blenny, Miter Blenny

A Crested Sabretooth Blenny, Petroscirtes mitratus, at Manly, Sydney Harbour, New South Wales, May 2020. Source: John Sear / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A speckled and mottled blenny with 5-6 indistinct, dark blotches or bands along the body, usually dark-edged ocelli along the upper side, reddish-brown spots along the midside, and the first three rays of dorsal fin elevated. The species has well-developed orbital cirri. Crested sabretooth blennies are often seen swimming vertically above the bottom.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Petroscirtes mitratus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 02 Dec 2023,

Crested Sabretooth Blenny, Petroscirtes mitratus Rüppell 1830

More Info


Rottnest Island, Western Australia, around the tropical north to at least Sydney, New South Wales; also Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea. Elsewhere the species is widespread in the Indo-West Pacific, from the Red Sea and East Africa to the Ryukyu Islands, southern Japan, New Caledonia, east to the Phoenix, Samoan, and Tongan Islands.
Inhabits shallow, protected lagoons and reef-flats with clumps of seagrass and algae; also in estuaries. Juveniles may shelter among floating Sargassum rafts.


Dorsal fin X-XI, 14-17; Anal fin II, 14.


Feeds on microalgae and detritus.


Females lay their eggs in empty mollusc shells. 


The specific name is from the Latin mitratus (= to wear a mitre - ceremonial head dress of a bishop), in reference to the large orbital cirri of this species.

Species Citation

Petroscirtes mitratus Rüppell 1830, Fische des Rothen Meeres 3: 111, pl. 28(1). Type locality: Jubal Island, Egypt, Red Sea.


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Crested Sabretooth Blenny, Petroscirtes mitratus Rüppell 1830


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls.

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp. 

Brothers, E.B., Williams, D.McB. & Sale, P.F. 1983. Length of larval life in twelve families of fishes at 'One Tree Lagoon', Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Marine Biology 76: 319-324.
Hutchins, J.B. & Swainston, R. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete field guide for anglers and divers. Perth : Swainston Publishing 180 pp. 

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3) 

Kuiter, R.H. 1992. Tropical Reef-Fishes of the Western Pacific, Indonesia and Adjacent Waters. Jakarta : PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama 314 pp. pls. 

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp. 

Kuiter, R.H. & Tonozuka, T. 2001. Pictorial guide to Indonesian reef fishes. Part 2. Fusiliers - Dragonets, Caesionidae - Callionymidae. Australia : Zoonetics pp. 304-622.

Randall, J.E. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific. New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press 707 pp.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs. 

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs. 

Rüppell, W.P.E. 1830. Atlas zu der Reise im nördlichen Afrika. Fische des Rothen Meeres 3. Frankfurt : H.L. Brünner 95-141 pls 25-35. See ref at BHL

Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1976. The saber-toothed blennies, tribe Nemophini (Pisces : Blenniidae). Monographs of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 19: 1-196 figs 1-179

Williams, J.T. 2014. Petroscirtes mitratus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T46080080A48382737. Downloaded on 22 March 2017.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37408074

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-15 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:8.5 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map