This fish can reach 25 centimeters in length, but its common length is around 15 centimeters. The dorsal fin is divided into two parts, the anterior one having two long, curved spines and the posterior one thirty-two to thirty-six soft rays.The first dorsal spine is located immediately above the middle of the eye and there is a deep groove in the fish's back into which the spine folds down.The anal fin has no spines and twenty-nine to thirty-two soft rays. This species has three basic color types: a uniform dark brown, a mottled grayish-brown, and gray background color with a network of fine polygonal markings.There is a prominent white spot at the base of the rear of the second dorsal fin and another at the base of the rear of the anal fins, a feature this species shares with the closely related C. pullus, found on tropical Atlantic reefs, and C. sandwichiensis from Hawaii.
Cantherhines pardalis occurs on outer reef slopes to depths of 2 to more than 20 m (Myers 1991, Kuiter and Tonozuka 2001), often in silty habitats. The young float with loose surface weeds and adults are often within large Sargassum rafts during the wet season (Kuiter and Tonozuka 2001). It is considered solitary and somewhat secretive (Lieske and Myers 1994). It feeds on benthic organisms (Sommer et al. 1996). Its maximum length is 25 cm SL (Harmelin-Vivien and Quéro 1990), but is usually about 17 to 18 cm SL (Kawase and Nakazonon 1994). It attains sexual maturity at < 16 cm SL (Kawase and Nakazonon 1994).
WIRENET FILEFISH (CANTHERHINES PARDALIS),Feeds on coral, by biting at the tips of corals branches and also on algae and variety of benthic invertebrates such as sponges, hydroids, amphipods and polychaetes.
Separate sexes - as far as we know Filefish are born male or female (gonochoristic). There has been no evidence of hermaphrodism in Filefish. Pairs - some species form monogamous pairs, even if only temporarily. Some species may even practice brood care individualy or as a pair. Harems (multi-females) - Oxymonacanthus longirostris is known to form small harems of 1 male and 2 females (a trio) in the wild when there are surplus females available (by default, O. longirostris forms monogamous pairs).Male and female press their abdomens into algae, releasing eggs.
Filefish eggs so far share many similar characteristics with the eggs produced by pelagic spawning families. However, the Filefish we know lay benthic eggs which adhear to the substrate. Eggs are spherical.
Although associated with coral reefs, which have experienced declines within the region, this is not thought to have significantly impacted this species. Of the 704 reef-building coral species that could be assigned conservation status, 32.8% are in categories with elevated risk of extinction. Declines in abundance are associated with bleaching and diseases driven by elevated sea surface temperatures, with extinction risk further exacerbated by local-scale anthropogenic disturbances (Carpenter et al. 2008).
This species is of minor commercial importance (K. Matsuura pers. comm. 2015), but this is not considered a major threat.
This species is likely found in marine protected areas throughout its range.
This species is of minor commercial importance (K. Matsuura pers. comm. 2015).