Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Siganidae
Etymology: Siganus: Latin, siganus = a fish, rabbit fish; by the similarity of the nose (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 2 - 40 m (Ref. 12382). Subtropical; 35°N - 35°S
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 14.2  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 30.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 30573); common length : 20.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 30573)
(total): 13 - 14;
soft rays: 9;
Vertebrae: 13. Regional variation in color exists. Anterior spines of median fins slender and pungent, posterior spines stout, all venomous including that on the nape. Preopercular angle 87-97 degrees. Anterior nostril with a long, broad flap covering posterior nostril when depressed. Variable cheek scalation. Midline of thorax devoid of scales between the pelvic ridges.
Western Indian Ocean: Red Sea and East Africa to islands in the western Indian Ocean. Immigrant to Mediterranean via the Suez Canal.
Found in small schools in very shallow water close to the bottom. Prefer hard bottoms of compacted sand with rock or coral debris. Solitary adults and groups of 3 or 4 adults have also been observed. Feed on a wide range of benthic algae. May suddenly stop and erect its fins (dorsal, anal and pelvic) presenting an encircling array of spined to potential predators; these spines are venomous. A food fish that is occasionally poisonous (Ref. 4537). Probably does not adapt well in captivity (Ref. 12382). Minimum depth from Ref. 9710.
The larvae maintain themselves near the water surface (Ref. 1419). Feeding on phytoplankton and zooplankton begins 3 days after hatching (Ref. 1419).
Woodland, D.J., 1990. Revision of the fish family Siganidae with descriptions of two new species and comments on distribution and biology. Indo-Pac. Fish. (19):136 p. (Ref. 1419)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Fisheries: minor commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01202 (0.00925 - 0.01563), b=2.98 (2.92 - 3.04), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 2.0 ±0.0 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.3).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (23 of 100) .