Siganus corallinus

Siganus corallinus is a member of the rabbitfishes family (Siganidae) that inhabits the waters of the western Indian Ocean in regions such as the Seychelles and Maldives, to the western Pacific Ocean, and from the northern coasts of Australia to New Caledonia. This fish lives in coral reefs in shallow waters up to 6 meters, although juveniles (2-3 cm in length) are found exclusively in seagrass beds in schools of up to 20 specimens. As these juveniles grow, they will migrate to the reefs where they will also form small groups.

The body of Siganus corallinus is tall, dorsally compressed and oval in shape. It can reach up to 30 cm in total length, although it is more common to observe specimens of 20 cm. The dorsal cephalic profile is more or less flat, with a strong concave bulge at the level of the eyes. The caudal fin is emarginate in juveniles, but as they grow, it becomes forked with two pointed lobes.

The base color of the body of Siganus corallinus is yellow-orange, with a multitude of small pale blue dots with dark blue margins on the head, chest and flanks. These dots are more frequent and therefore closer together on the head area. In juveniles, the dots may form fine lines, which as the specimen grows, are transformed into small dots. There is also a diffuse, dark, triangular-shaped spot just behind the eyes, inside which the dots are no longer blue as in the rest of the body, but black.

During the juvenile stages, Siganus corallinus feeds on epiphytic algae found in the meadows, while adult specimens tend to feed predominantly on larger benthic algae.

Siganus corallinus reaches sexual maturity at sizes of approximately 6 cm in total length, at which time specimens form pairs to reproduce.


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