Scrawled Filefish

Scrawled Filefish

Bony Fish

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

COMMON NAME: scrawled filefish
KINGDOM: Animalia
PHYLUM: Chordata
CLASS: Osteichthyes
ORDER: Tetraodontiformes
FAMILY: Monacanthidae
GENUS SPECIES: Aluterus scriptus

FAST FACTS

DESCRIPTION: Olive-brown to pale gray body with irregular blue lines and black dots distributed over entire surface. Body is laterally flattened and elongate. Snout ends in a pronounced tube-like mouth. Dorsal and anal fins undulate to provide primary locomotion. Solid (rounded) caudal fin is broom-like in appearance. Caudal fin is often observed limp.
SIZE: 30.5-76.2 cm (1-2.5 ft) avg; 110 cm (3.6 ft) max
WEIGHT: 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs)
DIET: Algae, seagrass, hydrozoans, gorgonians, colonial anemones, and tunicates
INCUBATION: No data
SEXUAL MATURITY: No data
LIFE SPAN: No data
RANGE: Western Atlantic: Nova Scotia to Gulf of Mexico and Brazil
Eastern Atlantic: St. Paul's Rocks, Cape Verde and Ascension Island to South Africa
Eastern Pacific: Gulf of California to Colombia
Western Indo-Pacific: Australia to Red Sea
HABITAT: 4-120 meters in tropical & sub-tropical marine coastal waters
POPULATION: GLOBAL No data
STATUS: IUCN Not listed
CITES Not listed
USFWS Not listed

FUN FACTS

1. The first dorsal spine of the scrawled filefish exhibits small notches along its length, resembling a file in appearance. This dorsal spine, then, contributes to the species common name.
2. The primary dorsal spine can be made to stand erect. Such a posture is utilized by several member of the superfamily Balistoidea to lock themselves into a crevice or crack within a reef system - thus making predatory extraction difficult.
3. For more information about bony fishes, explore the Bony Fishes InfoBook.

ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION

No data

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bond, Carl E. Biology of Fishes - Second Edition. Saunders College Publishing, 1996.

Humann, Paul. Reef Fish Identification - Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas. New World Publications, Inc., 1992.

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