Filefishes


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Filefishes or leatherjackets are members of the Monacanthidae family. They are found in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans. They inhabit shallow coral and rocky reefs, seagrass beds, and trawling grounds in depths of 10 to over 200 meters. The filefishes are recognized by their first dorsal fin that consist of a prominent spine which can be locked upright by a second very small spine.

Most of the filefishes species feed on a wide variety of benthic invertebrates, but some specialize on corals or zooplankton. Some species are schooling, but most are found as individuals or in pairs.

There are 28 genera and about 110 species of Monacanthidae worldwide. Malaysia has about 20 species.


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Scientific Name: Aluterus monoceros  (Linnaeus, 1758)
English Name: Unicorn Leatherjacket, Unicorn Filefish
Mandarin Name: 鹿仔鱼 (Lùzǐyú), 鸡鱼 (Jī yú), 肉竹 (Ròu zhú)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Barat-barat, Kerosok Padi, Ayam Laut
Local Hokkien: Keh Hu, Bak Teik
Size: Maximum total length about 76 cm, commonly to 40 cm.






Scientific Name: Chaetodermis penicilligerus  (Cuvier, 1816)
English Name: Prickly Leatherjacket
Mandarin Name: 鹿仔鱼 (Lùzǐyú)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Bagang, Barat-barat Duri
Local Hokkien: Thik Phuey, Keh Hu
Size: Maximum total length about 32 cm.






Scientific Name: Monacanthus chinensis  (Isbeck, 1765)
English Name: Fan-bellied Leatherjacket
Mandarin Name: 鹿仔鱼 (Lùzǐyú)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Barat-barat, Barat-barat Kipas
Local Hokkien: Thik Phuey, Keh Hu
Size: Maximum total length about 38 cm.






Scientific Name: Pseudomonacanthus macrurus  (Bleeker, 1857)
English Name: Strap-weed Filefish, Smallspotted Leatherjacket
Mandarin Name: 鹿仔鱼 (Lùzǐyú)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Barat-barat, Kerosok Rumpair
Local Hokkien: Thik Phuey, Keh Hu
Size: Maximum total length about24 cm.