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Species guide

Picassofish

Scientific name: Rhinecanthus aculeatus

DESCRIPTION:

The picassofish has a round, fairly flat body, with a colouring in the style of the great painting genius, which is what has given it its name. It has yellow lines surrounding the lips and spreading backwards. This makes the mouth look deceptively large, to dissuade possible enemies from attacking it.

Its maximum size is 25 cm.

BIOLOGY:

Picassofish are characterised by their skill in locking the first 2 needles of the dorsal fin in a vertical position to prevent from being pulled out of a crack where they are sheltering and being devoured by their predators.

It feeds on invertebrates, fish and seaweed and is therefore omnivorous.

It is an oviparous animal that digs holes in the sand to reproduce, where it lays its eggs.

HABITAT:

They normally live on shallow coral reefs (up to 4 m) and abound in sandy areas with waste (ruins).

DISTRIBUTION:

It is found in the Indian-Pacific (east of Africa, Japan, etc.), and is the Hawaiian national fish.

STATUS:

Species not evaluated (according to the red list of endangered species).

CURIOSITIES:

This fish can give out a typical sound similar to a zum-zum when frightened.

 

Peix-ballesta-Picasso-2