Siganus vulpinus Schlegel and Muller, 1844, Ternate Island, Moluccas Islands, Indonesia.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Foxface; German: Gelbes Dachsgesicht; Japanese: Hifuki-aigo.
Body is compressed and elongate, with minute cycloid scales on the trunk. There is a single dorsal fin with 13 spines and 10 soft rays. The pelvic fins are positioned at the thorax. The pectoral fin usually has 16 rays. Fin spines are stout and venomous. The snout is long and tubelike. Body color is predominately yellow, with a chocolate-brown forehead and snout and white spotted with brown on the preopercle and opercle and on the flank directly behind the gills. The thorax
OTHER COMMON NAMES
French: Cocher jaune; German: Halterfisch; Japanese: Tsunodashi.
Superficially, this species resembles the butterflyfishes (Chaetodontidae). The body is strongly compressed and disc-like, the snout is tubular, and the mouth is small, with many elongated, bristle-like teeth. The third dorsal spine is long and whiplike (the “streamer”). Coloring consists primarily of three vertical bands of white and yellow in alternation with two bands of black. The caudal fin is also black and fringed with white or yellowish white. A small patch of yellow and a horizontal band of white occur on the snout. Larvae are distinguished by a third spine that is elongate and more than twice the length of the larva’s body, which develops into the “streamer” of adults. Also has a spine positioned prominently above the corner of the mouth. Body size is large, up to about 3 in (7.5 cm) in length, at metamorphosis from postlarvae to juveniles. Adults grow to at least 5.9 in (15 cm) in length.
Tropical and subtropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region from East Africa in the Indian Ocean east to the Hawaiian Islands, Rapa Island, and Ducie Atoll in the east-central Pacific and in southern Gulf of California south to Peru in the eastern Pacific. In the western Pacific, north to southern Japan, south to Australia and Lord Howe Island, and throughout Micronesia, Polynesia, and Melanesia.
Clear seaward coral and rocky reefs, reef flats, and turbid inner lagoons. Depth range from less than 9.8 ft (3 m) to more than 591 ft (180 m).
Found singly, in pairs, or in small groups of three or more. Occasionally, large aggregations in excess of 150 fishes are seen; such aggregations may be for spawning.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Feeds on benthic encrusting invertebrates, especially sponges, that it plucks from the substrate.
Still poorly known. Pair-spawns at dusk on seaward reefs within small groups or, possibly, in larger aggregations. Eggs and larvae are pelagic, and larval life can be relatively long, thus potentially explaining their broad pattern of
Not listed by the IUCN. Aquarium trade is restricted in Germany.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Collected for the aquarium trade but does not do well in most aquaria. Also taken in subsistence food fisheries.
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