Scrawled filefish
  • Aluterus scriptus
  • English Name : Scrawled filefish
  • Local Name : Fankaa fathirondu
  • Size : Max. 1 m
  • Family : MONACANTHIDAE
  • Order : Tetraodontiformes
  • Distinctive Characters: Dorsal fin with 2 detached spines and 43-49 rays. First dorsal spine originates over eye. Anal fin with 46-52 rays. Pectoral fin with 13-15 rays. Body elongate and very compressed. Profile of snout concave. Mouth small and upturned. Caudal peduncle deeper than long. Caudal fin rounded and long (longer than head), posterior edge often ragged.
  • Colour: Olive brown to grey with irregular blue spots and short lines and small black spots.
  • Habitat and Biology: Seen in lagoons or on outer reef slopes to depths of about 20 m. A shy and solitary species, but occasionally observed in small groups. Feeds on a wide variety of benthic organisms including algae, sea grasses, hydrozoans, gorgonians, anemones and tunicates.
  • Distribution: Circumtropical
  • Remarks: Aluterus scriptus is one of the largest of the filefishes. It is similar to A. monoceros, but A. monoceros has a convex dorsal head profile and a bulbous ventral head profile, a much smaller caudal peduncle depth and also a much shorter caudal fin.