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Species: Monacanthus tuckeri, Slender Filefish

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white reticulating lines
body slender
snout long, upcurved
D2 base not on hump
pelvic flap large

Monacanthus tuckeri Bean, 1906

Slender Filefish

Body elongate and slender (depth between origins of soft dorsal and anal fins 31-39% SL), compressed; snout relatively long, upcurved and projecting (25-28% 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 without 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; none of dorsal fin rays elongate.

Variable shades of brown to red-brown with grey, darker above and often with a broad darker stripe extending back from eye; often with a network of white lines on body.

Reaches 9 cm.

Sandy and rocky bottoms, common in seagrass beds.

Depth range: 3-98 m.

The Carolinas to the S Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC 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
  • 9
Depth Range Min
  • 3
Depth Range Max
  • 98