Comprehensive Description

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  Common names: filefish (English), cachúa (Espanol), lija (Espanol)
Cantherhines dumerilii (Hollard, 1854)

Barred filefish,     White-spotted filefish

Body oblong, deep, compressed; a long pointed snout, its upper profile nearly straight; a small mouth that opens at front; 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  dorsal spine straight to slightly curved, over front ½ of eye, with barbed rear side, folds down into deep groove; dorsal rays II + 34-39; anal rays 28-35; pectoral rays 14-15 (usually 15); median fins rays unbranched;  tail straight to rounded;  two pairs of forward-curved spines on caudal peduncle ( males have longer, stouter spines); scales minute, innumerable, equipped with small hairs, cover skin and give it a coarse texture like sand-paper; pelvic fins present as a spine protruding from a patch of large scales, that patch fixed, not moveable vertically; no patch of enlarged scales above pectoral base; lateral line inconspicuous.

Greyish brown, often with series of incomplete darker bars on posterior half of body; iris and caudal fin orange; males with caudal fin and peduncular spines more orange; juveniles and subadults  grey brown, with white spots scattered on body.

Size: reaches 38 cm.

Inhabits coral and rocky reefs; feeds on tips of branching corals, also on algae, sponges, sea urchins and molluscs.

Depth: 3-35 m.

East Africa to tropical eastern Pacific: both sides of the mouth of the Gulf of California, western Panama, Gorgona Island and all the oceanic islands.


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© Shorefishes of the tropical eastern Pacific online information system.

Source: Shorefishes of the Tropical Eastern Pacific Online Information System

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