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5 Interesting Facts About Filefish

Updated on July 5, 2016

Filefish is a very unique species of wild fish. As a scuba diver and tropical fish enthusiast, they are one of my favorite fish to view and photograph due to their unique shape, coloration and swimming pattern. Here are some interesting facts you may not know about filefish:

  1. The Filefish family comprises of about 102 species in 27 genera, with more than half the species found in Australian waters. There are various species which are found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans including scrawled filefish, whitespotted filefish, and orangespotted filefish.

  2. Filefish are also known as foolfish, leatherjackets, or shingles due to their appearance. Their rough, sandpapery skin inspired the common name. It was said that dried filefish skin was once used to sand wooden boats.

  3. The largest species of filefish is the scrawled filefish, which is a beautiful and colorful fish which can be up to 43 inches in length. Most species are smaller than two feet in length.

  4. Filefish are not fast or particularly great swimmers due to their smaller fins. Depending on the species, they are either solitary fish, or swim in pairs or small groups.

  5. Filefish spawn at bottom sites prepared and guarded by the males, although depending on the species the female may help the male guard. The young filefish are pelagic, in that they swim in open waters, but are at risk from predators such as tuna or dolphinfish.

Reef Fish Identification - Florida Caribbean Bahamas - 4th Edition (Reef Set)
Reef Fish Identification - Florida Caribbean Bahamas - 4th Edition (Reef Set)

The ultimate guide for learning more about fish species. The Reef Fish series books are a great way to learn about and identify fish most commonly (and often not so commonly) found in Florida, Caribbean, and Bahamas.

 
Scrawled File Fish
Scrawled File Fish
Slender File Fish
Slender File Fish
White Spotted Filefish
White Spotted Filefish
Reef Fish Identification - Tropical Pacific
Reef Fish Identification - Tropical Pacific

The ultimate guide for learning more about fish species. The Reef Fish series books are a great way to learn about and identify fish most commonly (and often not so commonly) found in Tropical Pacific.

 

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Reef Fish Behavior: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas

The ultimate guide for learning more about fish species. The Reef Fish series books are a great way to learn about some unique behaviors of fish.

 

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