Slender Filefish

A fisherman caught these in his cast net, fishing in only two or three feet of water- he gave them to the boys to study as he couldn’t use them for bait. The larger was about two inches long; the smaller a little less than an inch. We believe that we have identified these correctly, but we are not definite.

These are one of the smallest fish in the world. Slender Filefish usually have a reticulated pattern over their body- this might help them camouflage when sunlight filters through the water. They usually grow to 2-3.5 inches. They can change colour, darken or lighten to blend with their surroundings. The larger fish seemed to have a darker top and lighter underside, which is apparently a rare colour variation. They can often be found around gorgonians in shallow water where the gorgonians can receive plenty of sunlight. Their ‘trigger fin’ cannot be locked into place, unlike its relation the Triggerfish. Slender Filefish feed on tiny crustaceans, zooplankton, algae and plants.