Cheilodactylus vittatus Garrett, 1864, Hawaiian Islands.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
Laterally compressed with a high forehead and long, sloping back. There are prominent bony knobs on the head. The caudal fin is forked. There is an oblique pale black bar on the head, and there are four oblique dark-black bars, all against a white background color, along the head and flank. The dorsal fin spines are black, white, and orange-red; the dorsal rays are white.
Hawaiian Islands in the Northern Hemisphere, and New Caledonia, Lord Howe Island, and the Kermedec Islands in the Southern Hemisphere.
Coral and volcanic rocky reefs, in areas of coral, rocks, pavement and rubble. Depth usually below 65 ft (20 m).
Occur singly or in small groups or aggregations.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Benthic carnivores that forage on the bottom for invertebrates, mainly crabs and shrimps, amphipods, polychaete worms, and gastropod mollusks.
Gonochoristic, with females tending to be larger than males. Courtship and spawning at night, with the release of pelagic eggs and larvae. Eggs are spherical and range in size from about 0.035 to 0.043 in (0.9–1.1 mm) in diameter. Hatching larvae are approximately 0.1–0.13 in (2.5–3.3 mm) in length, have unpigmented eyes, an unformed mouth, and a large yolk sac. Pigmentation develops with absorption of the yolk. The body is elongate but becomes deeper and compressed with growth, and silvery in color (paper-fish phase). The ventral keel also becomes prominent with growth. The gas bladder is small to moderate in size. The mouth becomes smaller and oblique with development. Larvae are adapted for a relatively long pelagic life.
Not listed by the IUCN. This species is rare in the Hawaiian Islands and may yet be proven distinct from those of the Southern Hemisphere populations.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Taken as a food fish, but smaller individuals may also be collected for the aquarium trade.
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