| Ecological Descriptors
|S, R , Dem
|| Veg, Cru
Variable shades of green, brown to red-brown, may have a dark stripe extending back from eye. Sometimes with a network of white lines or spots on body. Long, slightly upturned snout. Deep keel/ dewlap on anterior underside. Distinctive orange border with inner dark line along keel. May have fleshy protuberences on body.
All specimens seen by this project to date have a distinctive white/ pale line running along the dorsum, no matter what the colour phase.
This demersal species occurs over shallow, sand and rocky bottoms and commonly in seagrass beds. Young are often associated with floating Sargassum. It feeds on plants, algae, and small crustaceans. Found from <1 to 50m (<3-150 ft).
Due to the extremely small size of the slender filefish, they do not lie on the seabed as bigger fish do, but use their mouth to grasp the soft corals which prevents them from drifting with the sea currents. The pelagic larval stage is about 42 days long, which allows an increased area for dispersal. The phase of the moon affects the pattern of settlement; slender filefish tend to settle during the new moon.
(C) Nick Hobgood