Species Details

Details of Blacksaddle Filefish will be displayed below

Blacksaddle Filefi...   

Common Name: False Puffer, Mimic Filefish, Blacksaddle Mimic, Mimic Leatherjacket.
Scientific Name: Paraluteres prionurus
Local Name: Thaakihaa Fathirondu
Dhivehi Name: ތާކިހާ ފަތިރޮނޑު
Animalia  (Kingdom)
Chordata  (Plylum)
Monacanthidae  (Family)
Paraluteres   (Genus)

Blacksaddle Filefish's description

The blacksaddle filefish, Paraluteres prionurus, is a filefish of the family Monacanthidae. It reaches a length of a maximum 11 cm.

The blacksaddle filefish are found in pairs or in small schools and inhabit reefs across the Indian and Pacific oceans.

Coloration is sandy to grey with distinctive black "saddles" on the back and a yellow tail.

The blacksaddle filefish has evolved to mimic Blacksaddle Toby (Canthigaster valentine), a highly poisonous pufferfish commonly found where ever P. prionurus is found. The two species have been known to school together.

The Blacksaddle Filefish is white with dark brown bars. It has two pairs of spines on the caudal peduncle.

The species can be distinguished from the Blacksaddle Toby (Canthigaster valentine) by comparing their dorsal fins. The Blacksaddle Filefish has two dorsal fins, while the Blacksaddle Toby has only one. The second dorsal fin and anal fin are long-based (22-28 rays) in the Blacksaddle Filefish but short-based (9 rays) in the Blacksaddle Toby (Canthigaster valentine).

Inhabit clear lagoon and seaward reefs to at least 25 meters.

Blacksaddle Filefish's facts

Did you know?

  • This species mimics the poisonous Blacksaddle Toby (Canthigaster valentine) in the hope predators will leave it alone.

Blacksaddle Filefish's Behavior & Ecology

Mimic the poisonous puffer, Canthigaster valentini which it greatly resembles.

Adults usually in pairs, but sometimes seen in small aggregations.

Blacksaddle Filefish's Feeding

Feed on eggs, gastropods and grazes the substrate.

Blacksaddle Filefish's Reproduction

Breeding with filefish usually takes place between one male and several females. The females lay their eggs on the substrate and they are fertilized by the male. The eggs are then guarded by the female to prevent them from being eaten by predators. The Blacksaddle filefish is more often than not seen in pairs in the wild. It seems likely that they differ from other filefish and that the pairs are mated pairs.

Blacksaddle Filefish habitat

Paraluteres prionurus inhabits clear lagoon and seaward reefs to at least 25 m (Cornic 1987). Adults are usually in pairs, but sometimes seen in small aggregations (Kuiter and Tonozuka 2001). It often mimics the poisonous puffer, Canthigaster valentini. It reaches a maximum length of 11 cm TL (Hutchins 1986).
This species feeds on eggs, gastropods and grazes the substrate (Cornic 1987, Kuiter and Tonozuka 2001).  It also feeds on small crustaceans (K. Matsuura pers. comm. 2015).
Information is limited regarding the reproductive traits of this species.

Blacksaddle Filefish threats

There have been no confirmed population declines. However, because of its affinity with coral reefs, we suspect that it may be experiencing population declines due to habitat loss in parts of its range. However, it also inhabits rocky reefs, therefore, significant global populations declines are not suspected. Of the 704 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 effects (Carpenter et al. 2008).

Blacksaddle Filefish's status