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Aluterus scriptus - Scribbled leatherjacket filefish

Aluterus scriptus - Scribbled leatherjacket filefish Photo courtesy: Geoff Schultz

The Scribbled leatherjacket filefish has a grey or brownish body with black, green, or blue spots and lines. It can grow to 1 to 3 feet in length and has a unique, broom-like tail fin. This tail fin is rarely seen fully extended. Scribbled leatherjacket filefish are commonly found in open water or above coral reefs between 20 and 60 feet.


Distribution, Stock Structure and Migration
Circumtropical. Western Atlantic: Nova Scotia, Canada and northern Gulf of Mexico to Brazil. Eastern Atlantic: St. Paul's Rocks, Cape Verde and Ascension Island; São Tomé Island; South Africa. Pacific Ocean: southern Japan to the southern Great Barrier Reef, New Caledonia and Easter Island. In the eastern Pacific, from the Gulf of California to Colombia.


Habitat
Inhabit lagoon and seaward reefs. Occasionally are seen under floating objects. Juveniles may travel with weed rafts in open ocean for a long time and reaching a large size. Adults are usually seen along deep coastal slopes or outer reef drop-offs in about 20 meters depth.


Diet
Feed on algae, seagrass, hydrozoans, gorgonians, colonial anemones, and tunicates.


Quick Fact
The scrawled filefish can darken or lighten its body coloration dramatically.


Learn More
- FishBase

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