Blacksaddle Filefish

The Blacksaddle Filefish (Paraluteres prionurus) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Monacahnthidae family of Leatherjackets. It is related to Pufferfish. It mimics the Valentin’s Sharpnose Puffer (Canthigaster valentini).

The Blacksaddle Filefish is greyish with distinctive black ‘saddles’ and a protruding nose. It has a yellow tail. It has a blue-grey head, and a white speckled body with blue-grey spots. It has four black stripes (called saddles) on its back. 

Blacksaddle Filefish

It grows to about 12 centimetres (5 inches) in length.

It is widespread across tropical waters in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. It is mainly found near Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Indonesia, and northern Australia. It prefers shallow water in coral reefs. 

It feeds on sea snails and other small sea creatures.

It looks almost identical in size and colour to the Valentin’s Sharpnose Puffer which is highly poisonous. They mingle in schools so it is difficult for other fish to distinguish between them. This helps the Blacksaddle Filefish from being preyed upon by other fish because predatory fish do not want to eat a poisonous Valentin’s Sharpnose Puffer. 

The Blacksaddle Filefish can be found in pairs or small groups. It is oviparous. The female lays eggs on the bottom of the sea, and both parents guard the eggs and the young. 

Blacksaddle Filefish
Blacksaddle Filefish
Blacksaddle Filefish

Location of photographs: Aquarium de Paris-Cinéaqua, France

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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