Foxfaced Fish

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Name: Foxfaced Fish
Scientific name: Siganus virgatus
Range: Southwest Pacific
Habitat:  Doesn't mind bright light and likes sandy substrate
Status: Not threatened 
Diet in the wild: Grazers of Green algae and hair algae
Diet in the zoo: Herbivorous diet of krill, brine shrimp and romaine lettuce
Location in the zoo: Aquarium
Physical description: 
  • Has a long snout with mouth at the end
  • Body is oval and laterally compressed
  • The front end of the body is white with two large black areas running up the snout and around the eyes, as well as under the gillcover like a black beard
  • The back end of the fish is yellow, with a dark spot on the back
  • Reaches 10 inches in the wild, 7.5 inches is a lot more common in captivity


General information:


The foxfaced fish is very passive and peaceful.  They are seldom aggressive towards other fish.  Yet, when they are frightened the anal and dorsal spines erect.  They possess a toxin that is more painful than any common Lionfish.  However, it is not deadly. 
They are an important food-fish in many countries.  There are around 13 species of the foxfaced fish, with 4 being common in the aquarium trade. 

Special anatomical, physiological
or behavioral adaptations:

At night, and when sacred, they take on a giraffe-pattern to their body.  Dark blotches appear, and they are able to blend into the darkness very easily, with the exception of the front of their head. 

Comments about the foxfaced fish of the Fort Worth Zoo:

The Foxfaced fish is a glorious creature to study.  Unfortunately, the Fort Worth Zoo has taken the Aquarium out of the exhibit.  Please write a letter to the Fort Worth City Council in support of bringing the Aquarium back to the Fort Worth Zoo.

Personal Observations:

I was able to observe the foxfaced fish in my friend's tank.  They pretty much are like any other fish, mind their own business and keep to themselves.  Yet, they are amazing to watch.

Source Materials and Related Links:

Page author:{short description of image}Maricela Mayo

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