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Equetus lanceolatus - Jackknife Fish

Equetus lanceolatus - Jackknife Fish

Jackknife fish are distinguished by black and white-colored bars and an elongated front dorsal fin. Juveniles are often yellow with black bars. They typically can grow to about 9 inches in length. Jackknife fish are usually found in secluded areas of coral reefs near caves and under ledges that are between 40 and 140 feet.

Distribution, Stock Structure and Migration
Western Atlantic: Bermuda and North Carolina, USA to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Coral reefs; cave entrances and ledges; depth range 10 - 60 m.

Feeds mainly on small shrimps and crabs, but also on polychaete worms and gastropod mollusks. Although jackknife fish are usually nocturnal feeders, they will occasionally forage on sandy-bottoms in large groups during the day.

Quick Fact
Easily approached. Has been reared in captivity. Reports of ciguatera poisoning.

Learn More
- FishBase

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