mimic filefish [82K]

This appears to be a sharp-nosed pufferfish at first glance, but the long, broad dorsal and ventral fins of this small three-inch (7.6 cm) filefish betray its true identity as an imposter. The "real" pufferfish has a much smaller dorsal fin, set further rearward along the spine.  The filefish gains a survival advantage through mimicry, since sharp-nosed pufferfish are avoided by predators because of their poisonous flesh.

This one even has the act perfected down to the way it behaves, carrying its caudal fin closed most of the time and seen resting on the reef. Unfortunately it appears to have a parasitic fish louse attached. 

Identification:  Paraluteres prionurus; mimics pufferfish Canthigaster valentini
Common names: mimic filefish, blacksaddle filefish, false puffer


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