Seagrass Filefish | ©Blogie

Acreichthys tomentosus (Tetraodontiformes - Monacanthidae) is also known as Bristle-tail filefish. It is a reef-associated and non-migratory species, found at depths of 2 to 15m.

With its body color and markings, this filefish mimics the seagrass where it is often found.

Specimen shown was photographed at a depth of about 5m during a very late night dive at Isla Reta Beach Resort, Talikud Island, Philippines.

Orange Spotted Filefish (Oxymonacanthus longirostris)

Also known as the harlequin filefish, and not to be confused with the orangspotted filefish which is a different species (Cantherhines pullus) entirely. The orange spotted filefish is a species of filefish (Monacanthidae) that is distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific. Oxymonacanthus longirostris is usually associated with coral reef habitats, as it feeds almost exclusively on the polyps of Acropora spp.


Animalia-Chordata-Actinopterygii-Tetraodontiformes-Monacanthidae-Oxymonacanthus-O. longirostris

Image: Richard Ling


Scrawled filefish (Aluterus scriptus)

Aluterus scriptus is a marine fish belonging to the family Monacanthidae. Its is a medium size fish which can grow up to 110 cm in length. This species has a circumtropical repartition, it can be found in the tropical waters from the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. It can be observed in lagoons, coral and rocky reefs, seaweed fields,pinnacles, wrecks and also in open water. Aluterus scriptus is omnivorous and have a large choice for its meals like small crustaceans, algae, gorgonians, anemones, tunicates, fire coral and so on. It has a diurnal activity and is demersal. It is solitary and shy with divers and is rarely seen in couple or in group.

photo credits: Choo Tee Yong Vincent, Brocken Inaglory, Bryan Harry

Southern Pygmy leatherjacket - Brachaluteres jacksonianus 

The Southern Pygmy Leatherjacket is a small member of the Monacanthidae family, (Order Tetraodontiformes), belonging to the species Brachaluteres jacksonianus.

The Southern Pygmy Leatherjacket is endemic to Australia. It is up to 9 cm in length and has a very compressed body, which is almost circular. The lower surface is made up of a large ventral flap (called a dewlap) which can be raised and lowered. The abdomen is also expandable by inflating. Like all the leatherjackets, the Southern Pygmy Leatherjacket lacks pelvic fins. Instead, they all have a shaft-like pelvic bone, the end of which is covered with specialized scales.

Their color is highly variable, ranging from a pale yellow-brown to dark green with small spots or ocelli.

Males of this species exhibit a noticeable display. The male fully expands the ventral flap and caudal fin, synchronously quivering the fin and quickly raising and lowering the dorsal spin (vibrating). In the photo can clearly see the inflated throat pouch and bright blue coloration of the display.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©John Turnbull

Locality: Camp Cove, Australia.

Made with Flickr

Tasselled Leather-jacket

Also known as Prickly Leather-jacket, the Tasselled Leather-jacket, belongs to the species Chaetodermis penicilligera (Tetraodontiformes - Monacanthidae), recognized by its compressed body which has a variable cover of dermal flaps, its large caudal fin, and its strong first dorsal fin spine.

The Tasselled Leather-jacket occurs in coastal marine waters of the Indo-West Pacific. 

References: [1]

Photo credit: ©Orest Shvadchak

Locality: unknown.

Made with Flickr

Blacksaddle Filefish (Paraluteres prionurus)

…a species of filefish (Monacanthidae) which is typically observed in pairs or small schools in reefs across the Indian and Pacific oceans.the blacksaddle filefish is known for mimicking the pufferfish Canthigaster valentini, C. valentini is highly poisonous, and P. prionurus is not an gains protection by looking like a poisonous species. The two species are often seen schooling together. 


Animalia-Chordata-Actinopterygii-Tetraodontiformes-Monacanthidae-Paraluteres-P. prionurus

Image: Jens Petersen

American Whitespotted Filefish (Cantherhines macrocerus)

Also simply known as the “Whitespotted Filefish”, the American whitespotted filefish is a species of marine filefish (Monacanthidae) which occurs along the Atlantic coast of North America, ranging from Florida extending southward into the Caribbean. This species is distinct from C. dumerilii which also boasts the name “whitespotted filefish” but occurs in the Pacific/Indian oceans. American whitespotted filefish are omnivorous in nature, consuming an array of marine invertebrates like sponges, corals, and sea whips, along with plant matter like algae. 


Animalia-Chordata-Actinopterygii-Tetraodontiformes-Monacanthidae-Cantherhines-C. macrocerus

Image: Harold Hudson