Harlequin Filefish, Oxymonacanthus longirostris (Bloch & Schneider 1801)


Other Names: Beaked Leatherjacket, Beaked Leather-jacket, Longnose Filefish, Long-nose Leatherjacket, Orange Spotted Filefish

A Harlequin Filefish, Oxymonacanthus longirostris, at Mary Island, Solomon Islands. Source: Sally Polack / FishWise Professional. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

Summary:

A small slender greenish leatherjacket with rows of yellow spots and dashes along the sides and a small black blotch on the tail. Males have bristles on the tail base.

Harlequin Filefish shelter amongst branches of Acropora corals at night. They not only resemble coral branches, but they smell like one too (Brooker et al. 2014) - enabling the filefish to remain undetected by nocturnal predators.

Video of Harlequin Filefish spawning in a home aquarium.


Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Oxymonacanthus longirostris in Fishes of Australia, accessed 23 Nov 2017, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/812

Harlequin Filefish, Oxymonacanthus longirostris (Bloch & Schneider 1801)

More Info


Distribution

Widespread in tropical and subtropical waters of eastern and western Australia, from the Houtman Abrolhos (28°30'S) to the Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia; also at Rowley Shoals and Scott Reef, Western Australia (14°03'S), Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea (12°15'S) and Murray Islands (9°56'S) to Moreton Bay, Queensland. Also at Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea.

Found elsewhere in the Indo-west Pacific. Inhabits lagoons and seaward reefs in depths of 1-35 m.

Features

Meristic features: Dorsal fin: II (2nd spine not visible), 31-35; Anal fin: 29-32

Feeding

An obligate coralivore - feeding entirely on polyps of Acropora corals.

Biology

Forms monogamous pairs.

Fisheries

Although traded in the aquarium industry, Harlequin Filefish are very difficult to maintain in captivity. In the wild, this species feeds only on the polyps of Acropora corals.

Remarks


Author

Dianne J. Bray

Harlequin Filefish, Oxymonacanthus longirostris (Bloch & Schneider 1801)

References


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls.

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

Allen, G.R. & Steene, R.C. 1988. Fishes of Christmas Island Indian Ocean. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 197 pp.

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp.

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls.

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C.& Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp.

Barlow, G.W. 1987. Spawning, eggs and larvae of the longnose filefish Oxymonacanthus longirostris, a monogamous coralivore. Environmental Biology of Fishes 20(3): 183-194.

Bloch, M.E. & Schneider, J.G. 1801. Systema Ichthyologiae Iconibus ex Illustratum. Berlin 584 pp. 110 pls.

Brooker, R.M., P.L. Munday, S.J. Brandl & G.P. Jones. 2014. Local extinction of a coral reef fish explained by inflexible prey choice. Coral Reefs 33: 891–896. DOI 10.1007/s00338-014-1197-3

Brooker, R.M., P.L. Munday, D.P. Chivers & G.P. Jones. 2014 You are what you eat: diet-induced chemical crypsis in a coral-feeding reef fish. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.1887

Francis, M. 1993. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, southwest Pacific Ocean. Pacific Science 47(2): 136-170 figs 1-2

Hutchins, J.B. 1986. Monacanthidae. In, Smith, M.M. & Heemstra, P. (eds). Smith's Sea Fishes. Johannesburg : Macmillan South Africa xx + 1047 pp. 144 pls.

Hutchins, J.B. 1994. A survey of the nearshore reef fish fauna of Western Australia's west and south coasts — The Leeuwin Province. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 46: 1-66 figs 1-6

Hutchins, J.B. 2001. Biodiversity of shallow reef fish assemblages in Western Australia using a rapid censusing technique. Records of the Western Australian Museum 20: 247-270.

Hutchins, J.B. 2001. Monacanthidae. pp. 3929-3947 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218.

Hutchins, B. 2004. Fishes of the Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 66: 343–398.

Hutchins, J.B., Williams, D.McB., Newman, S.J., Cappo, M. & Speare, P. 1995. New records of fishes for the Rowley Shoals and Scott/Seringapatam Reefs, off north-western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 17: 119-123.

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3)

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to sea fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp.

Larson, H.K., Williams, R.S. & Hammer, M.P. 2013. An annotated checklist of the fishes of the Northern Territory, Australia. Zootaxa 3696(1): 1-293.

Marshall, T.C. 1964. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coastal Waters of Queensland. Sydney : Angus & Robertson 566 pp. 136 pls.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs.

Russell, B.C. 1983. Annotated checklist of the coral reef fishes in the Capricorn-Bunker group, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Special Publication Series 1: 1-184 figs 1-2

Russell, B.C., Larson, H.K., Hutchins, J.B. & Allen, G.R. 2005. Reef fishes of the Sahul Shelf. The Beagle, Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory Supplement 1 2005: 83-105

Swainston, R. 2011. Swainston's Fishes of Australia: The complete illustrated guide. Camberwell, Victoria : Penguin Australia 836 pp.

Whiteman, E.A.  I.M. Côté, 2004. Monogamy in marine fishes. Biol. Rev. 79: 351-375.

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37465062

Behaviour:Forms monogamous pairs

Depth:1-30 m

Feeding:Feeds only on coral polyps

Fishing:Aquarium fish (difficult)

Max Size:12 cm TL

Max Size:Reef associated

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map