Species: Aluterus scriptus, Scrawled leatherjacket, Scrawled filefish
blue spots & lines + black spots
C > snout, rounded
Aluterus scriptus (Osbeck, 1765)
Scrawled filefish, Scrawled leatherjacket
Body a very compressed elongated oval a long pointed snout, upper and lower profiles strongly concave; a small mouth that opens above center line; teeth moderately strong, six in outer row on top jaw and six or less on outer row on bottom jaw; gill opening a short slit on side before pectoral base; 2 dorsal fins, 1st with II spines, 1st long, slender, smooth, over eye, erectile, can be locked in position by minute 2nd spine; second dorsal fin 43-49 rays; anal rays 46-52; pectoral rays modally 14 (13-15); median fins rays unbranched; tail base shorter than deep; tail fin longer than snout, 33-61% of SL, rounded, the back edge often ragged; pelvic fins absent, pelvic spine rudimentary or absent; no group of enlarged scales encasing area where pelvics should be;scales minute, innumerable, like hairs, skin rough, like sand-paper; no patch of enlarged scales above pectoral base; lateral line inconspicuous.
Olive brown to grey with irregular blue spots and short lines and small black spots; pelagic juveniles may be brown with dark spots.
Size: grows to 110 cm.
Inhabits coral and rocky reefs, the young are sometimes seen around floating debris, at a considerable distance away from land; feeds on algae, hydrozoans, gorgonians, anemones, and tunicates.
Depth: 0-120 m, usually < 30 m.
Circumtropical distribution; Massachusetts to Brazil.
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- Marine Only
- Inshore Only
- Water Column Position
- Bottom only
- Water column
- Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
- Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
- Reef only
- FishBase Habitat
- Reef Associated
- Feeding Group
- Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
- Pelagic jellyfish/ctenophores
- Benthic microalgae
- Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
- Soft corals/hydroids
- Benthic macroalgae/seagrasses
- Egg Type
- No pelagic phase
- Pelagic larva
- Global Endemism
- Greater Caribbean non-endemic
- All species.
- Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans)
- Regional Endemism
- Continental primarily
- Island (s)
- Continent + Island (s)
- Extends N + S of GC
- Also in Brazil
- All species..
- Extends North of GC
- GC non-endemic
- Extends South of GC
- Climate Zone
- Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
- Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
- Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
- Temperate (>35N)
- IUCN Red List
- Least concern
- Not listed
- Length Max
- Depth Range Min
- Depth Range Max