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Phylum Chordata > Subphylum Vertebrate > fishes > Family Monacanthidae
Seagrass filefish
Acreichthys tomentosus*

Family Monacanthidae
updated Dec 13

Where seen? This filefish with with a 'smiley' on the side of the body is often seen on many of our shores, among seagrasses and seaweeds on coral rubble.

Features: To 12cm, those seen about 7cm. An irregular curved yellow or white line along the front of the body from the gill opening to the middle of the upper body, that resembles a 'smile'. Body in a wide variety of colours and patterns, usually irregular blotches. Adult males have bristles near the tail fin arranged a well-defined central oblong patch.

More on how to tell apart filefishes.

What does it eat? It feeds on small creatures that live on the bottom such as amphipods, worms and snails.

Pale or white curved line from gills
to middle of the upper body.
Tanah Merah, Aug 09

Tanah Merah, Jun 09

Sisters Island, Jul 07

Adult males with bristles in an
oblong patch near the tail fin.

Tanah Merah, Jul 11

Tanah Merah, Apr 12

Sentosa, Aug 04

*Species are difficult to positively identify without close examination.
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience of display.

Seagrass filefishes on Singapore shores

Photos of Seagrass filefishes for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

Lazarus Island, Feb 11
Photo shared by James Koh on his blog

Terumbu Pempang Kecil, Jan 15
Photo shared by Jianlin Liu on facebook.

Lazarus Island, Feb 11
Photo shared by Russel Low on facebook.

Pulau Senang, Jun 10

Pulau Senang, Jun 10

Pulau Senang, Jun 10

Pulau Pawai, Dec 09

Pulau Sudong, Dec 09
Photo shared by Ivan Kwan on his flickr.



  • Lieske, Ewald and Robert Myers. 2001. Coral Reef Fishes of the World Periplus Editions. 400pp.
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