Oxymonacanthus longirostris Bloch and Schneider, 1801, East Indies.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Harlequin filefish; French: Baliste а taches orange; German: Palettenstachier; Japanese: Tengukawahagi.
Body compressed and elongate with a pronounced, almost tubular snout. There are two spines and 31–35 soft rays in the dorsal fin and 29–32 soft rays in the anal fin. The color is bright green with orange spots or elongated blotches. The eyes are ringed with orange. The caudal fin is whitish with a small dark spot posteriorly. Grows to 4.7 in (12 cm) in total length.
Tropical and subtropical Indo-West Pacific from East Africa and Mozambique east to Samoa and Tonga, north to southern Japan, and south to the southern Great Barrier Reef and New Caledonia. The very similar congener O. halli replaces it in the Red Sea.
Found on coral-rich seaward and lagoon reefs, including reef flats, between 1.6 and 98 ft (0.5–30 m).
Males and females most often are found in pairs that jointly patrol a shared territory. Territoriality is especially pronounced during mating season, and territorial defense is greater among males than females during this time, because females generally spend more time feeding. Aggressive
takes place in relation to food or mates. Males are capable of defending territories successfully alone during mating season, but females are not.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Feeds upon Acropora spp. coral polyps.
This species usually is monogamous but is facultatively polygynous in relation to the availability of mates locally. If males are in short supply, a male may have a two-female mating group. Eggs are demersal and laid almost daily during the season on a piece of filamentous algae, but no care is given. Algae that is toxic is preferred, because of the anti-predation advantage that it confers, in the absence of parental care, upon the eggs. The larvae are pelagic.
Not listed by the IUCN but may be vulnerable because of coral bleaching.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Collected for the aquarium trade but does not do well without live coral.
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