Longnose Butterflyfish, Forcipiger longirostris (Broussonet 1782)


Other Names: Big Longnose Butterflyfish, Big Longnosed Butterflyfish, Black Long-nosed Butterflyfish, Long-beaked Butterfly Fish, Long-bill, Longer-nosed Butterflyfish, Longnosed Butterflyfish, Longsnouted Coralfish, Pipe-snouted Butterfly Fish, Rare Long-nose, Very-long-nose Butterflyfish, Very-long-nosed Butterflyfish

A juvenile Longnose Butterflyfish, Forcipiger longirostris, at Lembeh Straits, Sulawesi (North), Indonesia. Source: Dennis Polack / FishWise Professional. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

Summary:

The yellow butterflyfish with a black to greyish upper head, and a silvery-white lower head and chest, a black spot on the rear of the anal fin, and usually rows of black flecks or dots on the chest. The Longnose Butterflyfish has a long slender snout with the eye much closer to the pectoral-fin base than the tip of the snout. 

Video of Longnose Butterflyfish at Homaunau, island of Hawaii.


Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Forcipiger longirostris in Fishes of Australia, accessed 25 Sep 2020, http://136.154.202.208/home/species/425

Longnose Butterflyfish, Forcipiger longirostris (Broussonet 1782)

More Info


Distribution

Offshore reefs of north Western Australia, and the northern Great Barrier Reef and reefs in the Coral Sea, Queensland; also Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere the species is widespread in the tropical Indo-west-central Pacific. 

Inhabits coral-rich outer reefs, often near drop-offs. Individuals or pairs are often. seen picking small invertebrates from within corals or from reef crevices

Features

Dorsal fin X-XII, 24-28; Anal fin III, 17-20.

Size

To 22 cm.

Colour


Rare individuals may be all black or the yellow body may be all brown in colour.

Feeding

Feeds by sucking small invertebrates (mostly tiny caridean shrimps) from crevices and branching corals. Like many other plankton-feeding fishes, this species has greatly reduced dentition, and it can also rapidly move the entire jaw apparatus forward to capture prey.

Biology

Longnose Butterflyfish form monogamous pairs during the breeding season and females spawn thousands of pelagic eggs into the water column. Butterflyfish larvae typically hatch 30 hours after spawning and the larvae spend an average of 40 days in the plankton before they metamorphose and settle on the reef. 

The eggs and larvae of Forcipiger have been described. The larvae have an elongate, armoured snout, reduced supracleithral and posttemporal plates, a large, ragged supraoccipital crest, and long, sharp preopercular spines (Leis & Rennis 1983).

Fisheries

Although difficult to maintain in captivity, Longnose Butterflyfish are occasionally sold in the aquarium industry.

Conservation

IUCN: Least Concern

Remarks

Whether defending a harem or a monogamous mate in the wild, forcepsfish and longnose butterflyfish warn competitors away with a single percussive popping sound followed by a flick of the head.

Predators are thought to be deceived by the black, eye-sized spot near the clear tail fin allowing the butterfly fish to escape. The real eye is "hidden" in the black head of these butterflyfishes.

Similar Species

Longnose Butterflyfish differ from Forcepsfish (Forcipiger flavissimus) in having a longer snout and smaller mouth, 10-11 vs 12-13 dorsal-fin spines, and black flecks or spots on the chest.

The recently described Forcipiger wanai from Cenderawasih Bay, West Papua, is a dusky brownish-yellow fading to yellow-orange near the fins with a bright yellow band behind the black marking on the head.

Etymology

The species name longirostris is from the Latin longus (= long) and rostrum (= beak) in reference to the very long slender snout of this species.

Species Citation

Chaetodon longirostris Broussonet 1782, Ichthyologia, sistens piscium descriptiones et icones. Decas I.: 31, Pl. 7. Type locality: Hawaiian Islands [as Sandwich Islands], central Pacific.

Author

Bray, D.J. 2020

Resources

Atlas of Living Australia

Longnose Butterflyfish, Forcipiger longirostris (Broussonet 1782)

References


Allen, G.R. 1980. Butterfly and Angelfishes of the World. New York : John Wiley & Sons Vol. 2 pp. 149-352 figs 214-510. 

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

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

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. & Allen, M. 1998. A Guide to Angelfishes & Butterflyfishes. Cairns : Odyssey Publishing/Tropical Reef Research 250 pp. figs. 

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

Berumen, M.L. & Pratchett, M.S. 2006. Recovery without resilience: persistent distrubance and long-term shifts in the structure of fish and coral communities at Tiahura Reef, Moorea. Coral Reefs 25: 647-653.

Boyle, K.S. & Tricas, T.C. 2011. Sound production in the longnose butterflyfishes (genus Forcipiger): cranial kinematics, muscle activity and honest signals. Journal of Experimental Biology 214: 3829-3842.

Broussonet, P.M.A. 1782. Ichthyologia Sistens Piscium Descriptiones et Icones. London : Elmsly 42 pp. 11 pls.

Burgess, W.E. 1978. Butterflyfishes of the World. New Jersey : T.F.H. Publications Inc. 832 pp. figs.

Coleman, N. 1981. Australian Sea Fishes North of 30°S. Lane Cove, NSW : Doubleday Australia Pty Ltd 297 pp.

Ferry-Graham, L.A., Wainwright, P.C. & Bellwood, D.R. 2001. Prey capture in long-jawed butterflyfishes (Chaetodontidae): the functional basis of novel feeding habits. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 256: 167–184.

Ferry-Graham, L.A., Wainwright, P.C., Hulsey, C.D. & Bellwood, D.R. Evolution and mechanics of long jaws in butterflyfishes (family Chaetodontidae). Journal of Morphology 248: 120-143.

Findley, J.S. & Findley, M.T. 2001. Global, regional, and local patterns in species richness and abundance of butterflyfishes. Ecological Monographs 71(1): 69-91.

Hailman, J.P. 1981. A test of symmetry-deception in a chaetodontid fish. Animal Behavior 29: 1266-1267.

Hobbs, J-P.A., Newman, S.J., Mitsopoulos, G.E.A., Travers, M.J., Skepper, C.L., Gilligan, J.J., Allen, G.R., Choat, H.J. & Ayling, A.M. 2014. Checklist and new records of Christmas Island fishes: the influence of isolation, biogeography and habitat availability on species abundance and community composition. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 184–202 https://lkcnhm.nus.edu.sg/rbz/supplement-no-30/

Hobbs, J-P.A., Newman, S .J., Mitsopoulos, G.E.A., Travers, M.J., Skepper, C.L., Gilligan, J.J., Allen, G.R., Choat, H.J. & Ayling, A.M. 2014. Fishes of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands: new records, community composition and biogeographic significance. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 203–219 https://lkcnhm.nus.edu.sg/rbz/supplement-no-30/

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

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp. 

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. 2002. Butterflyfishes, Bannerfishes and their Relatives. Chorleywood, U.K. : TMC Publishing 208 pp.

Leis, J.M. & Rennis, D.S. 1983. The larvae of Indo-Pacific coral reef fishes. New South Wales University Press, Sydney and University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu. 269 pp.  

Motta, P.J. 1988. Functional morphology of the feeding apparatus of ten species of Pacific butterflyfishes (Perciformes, Chaetodontidae): an ecomorphological approach. Environmental Biology of Fishes 22: 39-67.  

Myers, R. & Pratchett, M. 2009. Forcipiger longirostris. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.1. . Downloaded on 25 August 2011. 

Pyle, R. 2001. Chaetodontidae, Pomacanthidae. pp. 3224-3286 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 5 2791-3379 pp.

Randall, J.E. 1961. Two new butterflyfishes (family Chaetodontidae) of the Indo-Pacific genus Forcipiger. Copeia 1961: 53-62.  

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. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. 557 pp.

Steene, R.C. 1978. Butterfly and Angelfishes of the World. Australia. Sydney : A.H. & A.W. Reed Vol. 1 144 pp. 216 figs. 

Wheeler, A.C. 1964. Rediscovery of the type specimen of Forcipiger longirostris (Broussonet) (Perciformes--Chaetodontidae). Copeia 1964(1): 165-169

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37365069

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:2-208 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish (rare)

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:22 cm

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map