Forcipiger longirostris, commonly known as the Longnose Butterflyfish or Big Longnose Butterflyfish, is a species of butterflyfish found on coral reefs throughout the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific. Even with its distinctive point-like long nose, the longnose butterflyfish still can easily be confused with its more common cousin F. flavissimus. Both species may be kept in aquariums.
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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