Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

Español  Contact

Species: Cantherhines macrocerus, Whitespotted Filefish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

brown + large orange blotches, +/- white spots
tail base: 2 pr strong yellow spines
juvenile: black + white spots

Cantherhines macrocerus (Hollard, 1853)

Whitespotted Filefish

Body oblong, deep, compressed; a long pointed snout; a small mouth that opens at front; 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 spine over front ½ of eye, robust, relatively straight, with barbed rear side, can be locked in position by small 2nd spine, folds down into deep groove on top of back; 2nd dorsal fin 34-36; anal fin 29-32; pectoral rays usually 14; median fins rays unbranched; two pairs of strong spines on tail base; tail fin edge straight to rounded; pelvic fins present as a spine protruding from a patch of large scales, that patch fixed, not moveable vertically; lower belly flap large; scales minute, innumerable, skin rough; no patch of enlarged scales above pectoral base; lateral line inconspicuous.

Color variable: brown or irregular mixtures of brown and orange; often pale spots over much of body and head, and a pair at the top and bottom of the end of the tail base; spines on tail base yellow. Juvenile black with many whitish spots

Size: reaches 40 cm.

Inhabits coral and rocky reefs.

Depth: 3-158 m.

Bermuda to Brazil.

High Resolution Map Download

Species Data Create Report Export as Word File Export as Excel File
  • Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Estuary
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Corallivore
  • Data
  • Omnivore
  • Data
  • Soft corals/hydroids
  • Sponges/seasquirts/bryozoa
  • Benthic macroalgae/seagrasses
  • Benthic microalgae
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 40
Depth Range Min
  • 3
Depth Range Max
  • 158