Forcipiger longirostris, commonly known as the Longnose Butterflyfish or Big Longnose Butterflyfish, is a species of butterflyfish found on coral reefs throughout the southern and western Pacific Ocean, as well as in portions of the Indian Ocean. It is easily confused with its more common cousin F. flavissimus. Both species may be kept as pets.
F. longirostris has a compressed yellow body with a black triangular region on its head, and as the name implies, a long silvery snout. There are usually 10–11 dorsal spines, a black spot on the anal fin, and rows of small black spots on the breast. The fish grows to about 22 centimetres (8.7 in) in length. In comparison, F. flavissimus has more dorsal spines, lacks the black spots, and its operculum is more curved.
F. longirostris is a diurnal omnivore, feeding mostly on small crustaceans, tube feet of echinoderms and sea urchins, and polychaete tentacles. Like other butterflyfish species, Longnose Butterflyfish mate for life.
F. longirostris, together with F. flavissimus, are known for having the longest fish name in the Hawaiian language: lauwiliwilinukunukuʻoiʻoi, or "long-snouted (sharp-beaked) fish shaped like a wiliwili leaf". It was the first Hawaiian fish to receive a scientific name, when Captain James Cook collected a specimen (this remains part of the British Museum collection).
The Longnose Butterflyfish is a challenging fish to keep for the hobbyist. It should be kept in minimum tank size of 75 US gallons (280 l) either on its own or as a mated pair, and it is extremely sensitive to the levels of ammonia in the water. It is moderately aggressive and may fight with other butterflyfish species, especially F. flavissimus. Feeding is difficult, as the fish's small mouth limits the types of food that may be given. Live rock is best, but tank food specialized for butterflyfish will suffice if finely chopped.
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- "Longnose Butterflyfish". Australian Museum. November 2004. http://www.austmus.gov.au/fishes/fishfacts/fish/flongirost.htm. Retrieved 2009-04-20.
- "02 Year - Final Report" (PDF). University of Hawaii Cooperative National Park Resources Studies Unit. November 10, 1975. pp. 49–50. http://www.botany.hawaii.edu/faculty/duffy/speci/1975.pdf.
- Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2009). "Forcipiger longirostris" in FishBase. January 2009 version.
- "QUEST - Fish Identification List" (Microsoft Word). Kalakaua Marine Education Center, University of Hawaii at Hilo. http://www.kmec.uhh.hawaii.edu/QUESTInfo/Fshidmst.doc. Retrieved 2009-04-20.
- "Hawaiian Marine Communities". Waikiki Aquarium. http://www.waquarium.org/hawaiian-marine-communities.asp. Retrieved 2009-04-20.
- Hauter, Stan & Debbie. "Big Longnose Butterflyfish". About.com. http://saltaquarium.about.com/cs/butterflyfishcare/p/biglgnosebfly.htm. Retrieved 2009-04-20.
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