Forktail Rabbitfish, Siganus argenteus (Quoy & Gaimard 1825)


Other Names: Schooling Rabbitfish, Schooling Rabbit-fish, Silver Spinefoot, Streamlined Spinefoot

A Forktail Rabbitfish, Siganus argenteus, at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Source: Andy Lewis / Lizard Island Research Station. License: CC BY Attribution

Summary:
A pale bluish to greyish rabbitfish fading to silvery below, often with a dense network of small pale yellow spots sometimes forming lines, especially on the lower side, axil of pectoral fin yellow, a yellow stripe usually along dorsal-fin base, and a dark brown bar on the upper margin of the gill cover. 
When asleep or threatened, Forktail Rabbitfish develop a distinct mottled pattern.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Siganus argenteus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 27 Nov 2020, http://136.154.202.208/home/species/2214

Forktail Rabbitfish, Siganus argenteus (Quoy & Gaimard 1825)

More Info


Distribution

Shark Bay region, Western Australia, to Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, and from the northern Great Barrier Reef off Cape York to Moreton Bay, Queensland; also reefs in the Coral Sea, and Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the Indian Ocean. The species occurs elsewhere in tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific.

Features

Dorsal fin XIII, 10; Anal fin XII,  9; Vertebrae 13. Spines slender, pungent, venomous. Preopercle angle 85°-95°. Fine scales on cheek; midline of thorax lacking scales.

Colour

Blue above, silvery below, commonly with variations in markings (spots, curved lines). Silvery-yellow iris. When frightened or asleep, the fish becomes a mottled very light and dark brown, with dark areas predominating in 7 diagonal zones across the sides; fins become mottled. 

Similar Species

Superficially resembles Siganus canaliculatus and S. fuscescens, particularly when young, but differs by having a much more deeply forked tail. 

Species Citation

Amphacanthus argenteus Quoy & Gaimard, 1825, Voyage autour du monde: 368, pl. 62(3). Type locality: Guam, Mariana Islands.

Author

Bray, D.J. 2017

Forktail Rabbitfish, Siganus argenteus (Quoy & Gaimard 1825)

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. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 1-21.

Bellwood, D.R. & C.J. Fulton. 2008. Sediment-mediated suppression of herbivory on coral reefs: decreasing resilience to rising sea levels and climate change? Limnology and Oceanography 53: 2695-2701. 

Brandl, S.J. & D.R. Bellwood. 2013. Morphology, sociality, and ecology: can morphology predict pairing behavior in coral reef fishes? Coral Reefs 32: 835-836.

Brandl, S.J., A.S. Hoey & D.R. Bellwood. 2013. Micro-topography mediates interactions between corals, algae, and herbivorous fishes on coral reefs. Coral Reefs, DOI 10.1007/s00338-013-1110-5.
Clements, K.D. & Choat, J.H. 1995. Fermentation in tropical marine herbivorous fishes. Physiological Zoology 68(3): 355-378.
Goatley, C.H.R. & Bellwood, D.R. 2012. Sediment suppresses herbivory across a coral reef depth gradient. Biology Letters, doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2012.0770.

Halstead, B.W., Engen, P.C. & Danielson, D.D. 1971. Morphology of the venom organs of the rabbitfishes (Family Teuthidae). pp. 121-157. In A. de Vries & A. Kochva (eds) Toxins of animal and plant origin. Vol. 1. Gordon and Breach, New York.

Hoey, A.S. 2010. The ecosystem role of macroalgal browsing fishes on coral reefs. PhD thesis, James Cook University. 

Hoey, A.S., Brandl, S.J. & Bellwood, D.R. 2013. Diet and cross-shelf distribution of rabbitfishes (f. Siganidae) on the northern Great Barrier Reef: implications for ecosystem function. Coral Reefs DOI 10.1007/s00338-013-1043-z.

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. 1992. Tropical Reef-Fishes of the Western Pacific, Indonesia and Adjacent Waters. Jakarta : PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama 314 pp. pls.

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.

Kuiter, R.H. & Debelius, H. 2001. Surgeonfishes, Rabbitfishes and Their Relatives. A comprehensive guide to Acanthuroidei. Chorleywood, U.K. : TMC Publishing 208 pp.

Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. A comprehensive guide to the coral reef fishes of Micronesia. Guam : Coral Graphics vi 330 pp. 192 pls.

Quoy, J.R.C. & Gaimard, J.P. 1825. Chapter 9. Poissons. 329-401 pls 43-65 in Freycinet, L.C.D. de (ed.). Voyage Autour du Monde, entrepris par orde du Roi, sous le Ministère et conformément aux instructions de S. Exc. M. le Vicomte de Boucharge, secrétaire d'État au Département de la Marine exécuté sur les corvettes de S.M. l'Uranie et la Physicienne, pendent les années 1817, 1818, 1819 et 1820; publié sous les auspices de S.E.M. le Conte Corbière, secrétaire d'État de l'Intérieur, pour la partie historique et les sciences naturelles, et de S.E.M. le Marquis de Clermont-Tonnerre, Secrétaire d'État de la Marine et des Colonies, pour la partie nautique; par M. Louis Freycinet, etc. Paris : Pillet Aîné Vol. 1 + atlas iv 712 pp.

Randall, J.E. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific. New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press 707 pp.

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., 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.

Woodland, D.J. 1990. Revision of the fish family Siganidae with descriptions of two new species and comments on distribution and biology. Indo-Pacific Fishes 19: 1-136 figs 1-23, 11 pls

Woodland, D.J. 2001. Siganidae. pp. 3627-3650 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.

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37438007

Danger:Venomous spines

Depth:1-40 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:30 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map