Vertebrate fauna of SE Asia
  

 

Home  
覧覧覧覧覧  
SE Asia fauna ...  
   
Primates
 Carnivorans
 Large Mammals
 Small Mammals
 Mammal calls
 Bats
覧覧
Birds
覧覧
 Snakes
 Lizards & Crocodilians
 Turtles
覧覧
 Amphibians
 Tadpoles
 Frog calls
覧覧
Freshwater Fishes
 Marine & Brackish Fishes
覧覧
Species Lists
 





 


 
覧覧覧覧覧  
SE Asia Vert Records (SEAVR) ...  
   
Philippines Records
  Indochina Records
  Indonesia & PNG Records
 
覧覧覧覧覧  
New Guinea herptiles ...  
Snakes   Lizards   Frogs  
覧覧覧覧覧  
   
  New pages ...
 
 
     
 
     
 
     
 
覧覧覧覧覧  
 

Search this site ...

 
 


   

 
  覧覧覧覧覧  
  Email :


Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2020

 
 
     
   
   

 

   
   
 
Rabbitfishes or spinefoots
   

Fig 1 
 

Fig 2
      

Fig 3
 

Fig 4
 

Fig 5
 


 

 

 



 

Order : Perciformes
Family : SIGANIDAE
Species : 29 species in 1 genus (as of 2020)
Maximum Length : at least 42 cm (e.g. Siganus guttatus).

Siganidae is a small family comprising 29 species of 'rabbitfish' in the sole genus Siganus. Rabbitfishes are so-called because their snouts resemble the noses of rabbits. They are also known as 'spinefoots' probably due to the presence of numerous spines on a number of fins which can give a painful sting.

Rabbitfishes occur in a range of habitats including shallow coral reefs, rocky areas, and beneath man-made structures such as jetties, boardwalks and pontoons. Some species are boldly patterned and others are heavily spotted.

Most species appear to be exclusively herbivorous, feeding mainly on algae, but recent studies have documented Siganus rivulatus (Marbled Rabbitfish) feeding on soft, gelatinous parts of live jellyfishes and comb jellies (Bos et al, 2016).

Bos & Fransen (2018) observed Siganus canaliculatus (White-spotted Rabbitfish) visiting 'cleaning stations' by day to have external parasites removed by shrimps or cleaner fishes.

Another study of Siganus canaliculatus in Palau documented large groups of this species coming together four or five days after the new moon to spawn: on average nearly 300,000 eggs were released by females (Hasse et al, 1997). The same authors documented marked darkening of Siganus canaliculatus when fish were stressed. When disturbed in shallow water, they may lie on their sides, and flatten themselves on the substrate while swimming slowly away.

Native populations of Siganus occur in the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Ocean.


Figs 1 and 2 : Dorso-lateral view (oblique-angle view) of a pair of Orange-spotted Rabbitfish (Siganus guttatus) beneath a jetty at Sentosa Island, Singapore. According to Fishbase this species may grow up to 42 cm, but typically reaches 25 cm.

Figs 3 and 4 : Side view and top view of a White-spotted Rabbitfish (Siganus canaliculatus) at Changi Beach, Singapore. According to Fishbase this species may reach 40 cm, but typically reaches no more than 20 cm.

Fig 5 : A shoal of Siganus sp. at Pangkor Laut, Peninsular Malaysia.


References :

Bos, A. R., Cruz-Rivera, E., & Sanad, A. M. (2016). Herbivorous fishes Siganus rivulatus (Siganidae) and Zebrasoma desjardinii (Acanthuridae) feed on Ctenophora and Scyphozoa in the Red Sea. Marine Biodiversity, 47(1), 243-246.

Bos, A. R., & Fransen, C. H. (2018). Nocturnal cleaning of sleeping rabbitfish, Siganus canaliculatus, by the cleaner shrimp, Urocaridella antonbruunii (Decapoda, Palaemonidae). Crustaceana, 91(2), 239-241.

Hasse, J. J., Madraisau, B. B., & McVey, J. P. (1977). Some aspects of the life history of Siganus canaliculatus (Park) (Pisces: Siganidae) in Palau. Micronesica, 13(2), 297-312.


Thanks to Tan Heok Hui and Kelvin Lim for helping with identification.