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Species: Monacanthus ciliatus, Fringed filefish

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mottled, white mark along flank
body deep
snout short
D2 base hump
mottled
pelvic flap large

Monacanthus ciliatus (Mitchill, 1818)

Fringed filefish

Body relatively deep (depth between origins of dorsal and anal fins 39-55% SL); compressed; snout relatively short (22-26% of SL), ; a small mouth that opens at front; teeth moderately strong, six in outer row on top jaws and six in a single row on bottom jaws; gill opening a short slit on side before pectoral base;  2 dorsal fins, 1st with II spines, 1st spine over rear 1/2 of eye, long, serrated at rear, toothed along front and sides, does not fold down into a deep groove, erectile, can be locked in position by small 2nd spine; 2nd  dorsal fin with a distinct hump at front of its base, no rays elongate; pelvic fin rudiment evident as a spine protruding from a group of enlarged scales, those scales flexible dorsoventrally; scales minute, innumerable, skin rough; tail base of large juveniles and adults with 2-4 pairs of large spiny scales, those curved forwards in male; large males with a patch of bristles around spines; skin flap between pelvis and anus relatively large.

Variably mottled with brown, red-brown or green brown, with white and black patches, often an irregular elongate white mark along mid-flank from under eye back to about level of origin of soft dorsal.

Reaches 20 cm.

Lives on sandy and rocky bottoms, common in seagrass beds; juveniles associate with floating plants.

Depth range 1-90 m, usually in < 50 m.

Both sides of the Atlantic; in the W Atlantic from Newfoundland to Argentina.


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Salinity
  • Marine Only
  • Marine
Inshore/Offshore
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
Habitat
  • Water column
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Rocks
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Flotsam
  • Reef and soft bottom
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Omnivore
  • Data
Diet
  • Benthic macroalgae/seagrasses
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Sessile molluscs
  • Benthic microalgae
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Sessile crustacea
  • Sessile worms
  • Data
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Pelagic larva
  • Data
Global Endemism
  • Transatlantic (East+West Atlantic)
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continental primarily
  • GC non-endemic
  • Also in Brazil
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Island (s)
  • Continent
  • Extends North of GC
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends South of GC
Residency
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
CITES
  • Not listed
Length Max (cm)
  • 20
Depth Range Min (m)
  • 1
Depth Range Max (m)
  • 90