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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

  Common names: filefish (English), leatherjacket (English), lija (Espanol)
 
Aluterus scriptus (Osbeck, 1765)


Scrawled filefish,     Scrawled leatherjacket


Body a very compressed elongated oval a long pointed snout, upper and lower profiles strongly concave; a small mouth that  opens above center line; teeth moderately strong, six in outer row on top jaw and six or less on outer row on bottom jaw;  gill opening a short slit on side before pectoral base; II dorsal spines, 1st  long and slender, over eye, erectile, can be locked in position by small 2nd  spine; dorsal II, 43-49; anal 43-49; pectoral 13-15; median fins rays unbranched;  tail fin longer than snout, rounded, the back edge often ragged; tail base shorter than deep; scales minute, innumerable, equipped with small hairs, cover skin and give it a coarse texture like sand-paper; pelvic fins absent, no scales encasing area where pelvics should be; no patch of enlarged scales above pectoral base; lateral line inconspicuous.


Olive brown to grey with irregular blue spots and short lines and small black spots; pelagic juveniles  may be brown with dark spots.


Size: grows to 110 cm.

Inhabits coral and rocky reefs, the young are sometimes seen around floating debris, at a considerable distance away from land; feeds on algae, hydrozoans, gorgonians, anemones, and tunicates.

Depth: 0-120 m.

Circumtropical distribution; southern Baja and the mouth of the Gulf of California to Ecuador, and all the oceanic islands.
   
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Biology

Inhabit lagoon and seaward reefs (Ref. 9710). Occasionally are seen under floating objects (Ref. 1602). Juveniles may travel with weed rafts in open ocean for a long time and reaching a large size. Adults are usually seen along deep coastal slopes or outer reef drop-offs in about 20 meters depth (Ref. 48637). Benthopelagic (Ref. 58302). Feed on algae, seagrass, hydrozoans, gorgonians, colonial anemones, and tunicates. Caught at the surface using a hand net (Ref. 26165).
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Distribution

circumtropical; Western Atlantic: Nova Scotia, Canada and northern Gulf of Mexico to Brazil
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Zoogeography

See Map (including site records) of Distribution in the Tropical Eastern Pacific 
 
Global Endemism: All species, TEP non-endemic, Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans), "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific), All Pacific (West + Central + East), East Pacific + Atlantic (East +/or West), Transisthmian (East Pacific + Atlantic of Central America), East Pacific + all Atlantic (East+West)

Regional Endemism: All species, Eastern Pacific non-endemic, Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic, Continent + Island (s), Continent, Island (s)

Residency: Resident

Climate Zone: Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap), Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos), Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
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Circumtropical. Western Atlantic: Nova Scotia, Canada and northern Gulf of Mexico to Brazil (Ref. 7251). Eastern Atlantic: St. Paul's Rocks (Ref. 13121), Cape Verde and Ascension Island (Ref. 3592); São Tomé Island (Ref. 34088); South Africa (Ref. 4421). Pacific Ocean: southern Japan to the southern Great Barrier Reef, New Caledonia and Easter Island (Ref. 37816). In the eastern Pacific, from the Gulf of California to Colombia (Ref. 9318).
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Circumglobal in tropical and subtpical seas (including Red Sea, Madagascar, Mascarenes, Hawaiian Islands).
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Tropical seas; northward to South Carolina on the Atlantic Coast of America. Has been found on Georges Bank as a stray.
  • Bigelow, H.B. and Schroeder, W.C.,1953; Hutchins, J.B., 1986; Lieske, E. and R. Myers, 1994; Myers, R.F., 1991; Norman, J.R., 1939.
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Depth

Depth Range (m): 0 (S) - 120 (S)
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 2; Dorsal soft rays (total): 43 - 50; Analspines: 0; Analsoft rays: 46 - 52
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Size

Length max (cm): 110.0 (S)
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Size

Maximum size: 1100 mm NG
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Max. size

110 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 9710)); max. published weight: 2,500 g (Ref. 26340)
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to 110 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 2,500.0 g.
  • Bigelow, H.B. and Schroeder, W.C.,1953; Hutchins, J.B., 1986; Lieske, E. and R. Myers, 1994; Myers, R.F., 1991; Norman, J.R., 1939.
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Diagnostic Description

Description

Occurs in lagoons and on seaward reefs. Solitary, often in open water (Ref. 9710). Feeds on algae, seagrasses, hydrozoans, gorgonians, colonial anemones, and tunicates. Juveniles and occasionallly adults are seen under floating objects (Ref. 1602). Generally common (Ref. 9710).
  • Anon. (1996). FishBase 96 [CD-ROM]. ICLARM: Los Baños, Philippines. 1 cd-rom pp.
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Snout concave (Ref. 1602); olive brown to grey in color, juveniles may be yellowish brown with dark spots (Ref. 4421). Elongate, strongly compressed filefish; tan with blue lines and spots. Caudal fin rounded (Ref. 26938) and long (Ref. 13442). Gill opening oblique, pelvic terminus rudimentary or absent; body and head with scattered small black spots (Ref. 13442).
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Ecology

Habitat

Known from seamounts and knolls
  • Stocks, K. 2009. Seamounts Online: an online information system for seamount biology. Version 2009-1. World Wide Web electronic publication.
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benthic
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Inhabits lagoon and seaward reefs.
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Environment

reef-associated; marine; depth range 3 - 120 m (Ref. 36484), usually 3 - 20 m (Ref. 40849)
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Depth range based on 83 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 57 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 380
  Temperature range (°C): 11.047 - 28.954
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.099 - 3.148
  Salinity (PPS): 32.507 - 36.808
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.005 - 6.429
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.076 - 0.543
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.866 - 7.439

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 380

Temperature range (°C): 11.047 - 28.954

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.099 - 3.148

Salinity (PPS): 32.507 - 36.808

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.005 - 6.429

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.076 - 0.543

Silicate (umol/l): 0.866 - 7.439
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth: 2 - 80m.
From 2 to 80 meters.

Habitat: reef-associated. Scribbled leatherjacket.  (Osbeck, 1765)  Attains 1 metre. Worldwide in tropical and subtropical seas, south to Knysna. Colour variable; olive, brown or grey with numerous blue lines and spots. Normally alone, often in open water. Feeds on a wide variety of benthic life, including algae, seagrasses, hydrozoans (such as stinging corals), fire corals (Millepora), gorgonians, colonial anemones and tunicates. Changes its colour to match and blend in with its surroundings. PA
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Reef-associated; marine; depth range; 4-120 m. Inhabits lagoon and seaward reefs. Occasionally are seen under floating objects.
  • Bigelow, H.B. and Schroeder, W.C.,1953; Hutchins, J.B., 1986; Lieske, E. and R. Myers, 1994; Myers, R.F., 1991; Norman, J.R., 1939.
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Salinity: Marine, Brackish

Inshore/Offshore: Inshore, Inshore Only

Water Column Position: Bottom, Bottom only

Habitat: Reef (rock &/or coral), Reef only, Rocks, Corals, Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom), Flotsam

FishBase Habitat: Reef Associated
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Trophic Strategy

Inhabits lagoon and seaward reefs (Ref. 9710). Occasionally are seen under floating objects (Ref. 1602). Feeds on algae, seagrass, hydrozoans, gorgonians, colonial anemones, and tunicates. Feeds on benthic invertebrates and plants (Ref. 33). Omnivore (Ref. 57615, 57616).
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Feeds on algae, seagrass, hydrozoans, gorgonians, colonial anemones, and tunicates.
  • Bigelow, H.B. and Schroeder, W.C.,1953; Hutchins, J.B., 1986; Lieske, E. and R. Myers, 1994; Myers, R.F., 1991; Norman, J.R., 1939.
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Feeding

Feeding Group: Omnivore

Diet: benthic microalgae, sponges/seasquirts/bryozoa, soft corals/hydroids
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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Diet

Feeds on algae, seagrass, hydrozoans, gorgonians, colonial anemones, and tunicates.
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Reproduction

no information.
  • Bigelow, H.B. and Schroeder, W.C.,1953; Hutchins, J.B., 1986; Lieske, E. and R. Myers, 1994; Myers, R.F., 1991; Norman, J.R., 1939.
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Egg Type: Benthic, Pelagic larva
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Aluterus scriptus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 8
Specimens with Barcodes: 28
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Barcode data: Aluterus scriptus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 6 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.  Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.  See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

ACCCGTTGACTCTTTTCAACCAATCACAAAGACATCGGCACCCTTTATATGATTTTCGGTGCCTGAGCCGGAATAGTAGGAACTGCTTTA---AGCCTACTTATTCGAGCAGAACTAAGCCAGCCCGGCGCCCTCCTTGGAGAC---GACCAAATTTATAACGTAATCGTGACAGCCCACGCTTTCGTAATGATTTTCTTTATAGTAATGCCAATCATGATCGGGGGCTTTGGAAACTGACTTATCCCCCTAATG---ATCGGTGCCCCTGACATAGCATTCCCTCGCATGAATAACATGAGCTTCTGACTGCTCCCGCCCTCCTTCCTGCTGCTCCTTGCGTCTTCAGGGGTCGAAGCTGGGGCCGGAACAGGATGGACTGTCTACCCCCCTCTAGCAGGCAACCTCGCCCATGCAGGAGCGTCTGTAGACCTG---ACAATTTTCTCTCTGCACCTAGCAGGCATTTCTTCAATCTTGGGTGCAATCAATTTTATTACAACAATCATTAACATAAAACCCCCTGCTATCTCCCAATACCAGACCCCACTATTTGTGTGAGCTGTCTTAATTACAGCCGTCCTTCTCCTCCTCTCCCTGCCAGTACTCGCCGCA---GGCATTACAATGCTTCTAACCGACCGCAATCTTAACACCACCTTCTTTGACCCTGCCGGGGGAGGAGACCCCATCTTATACCAGCACCTATTTTGATTCTTCGGCCACCCCGAAGTCTACATTCTAATTCTCCCAGGGTTCGGAATGATCTCACACATTGTAGCCTACTATTCAGGTAAAAAA---GAACCTTTCGGCTACATGGGCATGGTGTGAGCAATGATAGCAATCGGGCTGCTCGGATTCATCGTCTGAGCCCACCACATGTTTACAGTCGGCATGGACGTTGACACACGGGCCTACTTTACTTCCGCCACTATAATCATCGCCATCCCGACAGGCGTTAAAGTATTTAGCTGGCTC---GCCACACTCCACGGAGGG---GCCATCAAATGAGAAACCCCACTACTTTGAGCCCTTGGTTTCATTTTCTTATTCACAGTAGGAGGTCTGACAGGGATTGTCCTGGCCAATTCCTCACTCGACATCGTCCTTCATGACACATACTACGTGGTTGCACACTTCCACTATGTA---CTATCAATGGGCGCCGTTTTCGCCATCGTAGCTGCATTCGTTCACTGATTCCCACTATTCTCAGGTTACACCCTCCACGACACATGAACAAAAATCCACTTCGGAGTGATGTTCGCAGGAGTAAACTTAACCTTCTTCCCCCAACATTTCCTCGGCCTCGCTGGTATGCCACGG---CGTTATTCGGACTACCCCGACGCCTACACT---CTTTGAAACACAGTATCCTCCATTGGTTCTCTAATCTCACTTGTCGCCGTTATTATGTTCCTGTTCATTATTTGAGAAGCATTCGCAGCTAAACGAGAAGTC---CTATCCGTAGAACTAACCTCTACAAAC
-- end --

Download FASTA File
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List: Not evaluated / Listed

CITES: Not listed
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Threats

Not Evaluated
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

gamefish: yes; aquarium: commercial
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Wikipedia

Aluterus scriptus

Aluterus scriptus (known also as scrawled filefish, broomtail filefish, or scribbled leatherjacket) is a Marine fish belonging to the family Monacanthidae.

Description[edit]

Aluterus scriptus is a medium size fish which can grow up to 110 cm in length.[1] The body shape looks like an elongated oval, strongly compressed. Its background body coloration is olive-brown or grey depending on its surrounding environment, irregular blue lines and spots are distributed on the body mixed with some black spots mainly on the head. The mouth is small and at the end of its pointed snout. Like all the Tetraodontiformes, it has no pelvic fin but has two particular dorsal spines; the first anterior one is long, slender and erectile, located just over the eyes, the second is small and not easy to see but it locks the first one when it is erected.[2] The rounded caudal fin is quite long and can be displayed as a fan. The juveniles have a yellow with black spots body coloration.[3]

Distribution[edit]

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.[4]

Habitat[edit]

This filefish can be observed in lagoons, coral and rocky reefs, seaweed fields,pinnacles, wrecks and also in open water.[5]

Feeding[edit]

Aluterus scriptus is omnivorous and have a large choice for its meals like small crustaceans, algae, gorgonians, anemones, tunicates, fire coral...[6]

Behaviour[edit]

Aluterus scriptus has a diurnal activity and is demersal. It is solitary and shy with divers and is rarely seen in couple or in group.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://eol.org/pages/205063/details
  2. ^ http://eol.org/pages/205063/details
  3. ^ http://doris.ffessm.fr/fiche2.asp?fiche_numero=989
  4. ^ http://www.fishbase.org/summary/Aluterus-scriptus.html
  5. ^ http://www.fishbase.org/summary/Aluterus-scriptus.html
  6. ^ http://eol.org/pages/205063/details
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