The Whitespotted Filefish (Cantherhines macrocerus) is a member of an group of fish that have all radically departed from the streamlined body plan typical of most fishes in one way or another (belonging to the Order Tetraodontiformes), including the previously featured Smooth Trunkfish, and the to-be-featured-in-the-future Queen Triggerfish. Interestingly, all members of this order (except the triggerfish family) have a ridged body incapable of flexing, thus their swimming ability is limited to propulsion that can be achieved only by the fins rather than a combination with body undulation. This fascinating group of fish range in size from tiny filefish just 2 cm in length to the enigmatic Ocean Sunfish that can grow to over 3 m in length and weigh over two tonnes! Blimey!
Typically olive/brown in colour, the Whitespotted Filefish can rapidly change appearance while it explores the reef seeking out sponges and other tasty morsels to munch on, changing to a high contrast colour pattern, often bright orange, with a covering of bright white spots (these white spots are not being displayed in our design print). Within moments, these spots can disappear, and a grey-like wash colour envelop the entire fish as it slowly wanders off on its way. These colour changes are quite remarkable and happen in such a gradual fashion that one wonders if ones eyes are playing tricks on one while observing these fascinating fish underwater. The white spots often elongate and blur around the edges, covering the face as well the entire body, and give the impression of disco mirror ball lighting. A secret partier maybe?
About Reef Creature Clothing
We specialise in coral reef inspired clothing. You can also find limited edition printed products featuring some of our most popular designs. We donate 5% of our profits to conservation projects that help protect reef creatures around the globe. Currently we are supporting the Anguilla National Trust, who do vital conservation work on the small island of Anguilla, British West Indies where the majority of our images were taken. To help you learn more about these fascinating reef creatures many of them will have featured posts over the coming months. Watch this space!