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 not only coral reef inspired athleisure wear, but also beach & swim wear, and other printed products. All our colourful and vibrant designs are made using digitally enhanced prints of real underwater photographs taken in the Caribbean. We donate all of our profits after costs to The Coral Reef Research Hub, a small non-profit organisation that seeks to help fund research projects undertaken by early career coral reef scientists. The projects funded are those that aim to contribute information that will hopefully lead to legislative change, and thus help to protect coral reefs and their associated resources for generations to come!
We write these regular ‘creature features’ to help you learn more about the fascinating inhabitants of the coral reefs where our images came from. More will continue to be posted over the coming months so watch this space!