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Species: Aluterus heudelotii, Dotterel filefish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

head blue lines, body short blue lines & spots
no black spots
C short, < snout, edge bluntly straight
eye high, close to D spine

Aluterus heudelotii Hollard, 1855

Dotterel filefish

Body a very compressed elongated oval; a long pointed snout; upper and lower profiles of head concave; eye near upper head profile, relatively near dorsal fin (distance between them 4.6-6.6%SL); a small, upturned mouth that opens above center line; teeth moderately strong, 6 in outer row on top jaw and 6 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  36-41 rays; anal rays 39-41; pectoral rays modally 12-13; median fins rays unbranched; pelvic fins absent, a rudimentary pelvic spine may be present; no large scales encasing area where pelvics should be; tail fin relatively short, less than snout, with a bluntly straight edge; scales minute, skin rough, like sand-paper, but relatively smooth; no patch of enlarged scales above pectoral base; lateral line inconspicuous.

Grey, with a few blue lines along head and elongate blue spots and short lines on body; no black spots.   

Size: grows to 30 cm.

Inhabits mud, sand and seagrass bottoms.

Depth: 0-734 m.

E & W Atlantic; Massachusetts to Brazil.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom only
  • Mud
  • Sand & gravel
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Corallivore
  • Omnivore
  • Data
  • Sponges/seasquirts/bryozoa
  • Soft corals/hydroids
  • Data
  • Benthic macroalgae/seagrasses
  • Benthic microalgae
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • Data
  • Benthic
Global Endemism
  • Transatlantic (East+West Atlantic)
  • All species.
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • All species..
  • GC non-endemic
  • Also in Brazil
  • Island (s)
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • Continent
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Temperate (>35N)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 30
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 734