Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Tetraodontiformes
(Puffers and filefishes) > Monacanthidae
Etymology: Aluterus: Name from Greek meaning not free or detached, referring to the pelvis that does not form a spiny project (as it does in triggerfish) (R. Chandler, pers. Comm. 10/2014).. More on author: Walbaum.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 3 - 900 m (Ref. 3592), usually ? - 50 m (Ref. 3592). Subtropical; 46°N - 27°S, 97°W - 13°E
Western Atlantic: Nova Scotia (Canada), Bermuda, and northern Gulf of Mexico to Brazil. Eastern Atlantic: Cape Blanc, Mauritania to Angola (Ref. 3592).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 61.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 26340); common length : 40.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3592)
Usually found over bottoms with seagrass, sand, or mud (Ref. 3790). Juveniles are associated with floating Sargassum. Solitary or in pairs (Ref. 9710). Feeds on a variety of plants, including algae and seagrasses (Ref. 3790). Generally considered as trash fish, rarely consumed (Ref. 3790). Traded as an aquarium fish at Ceará, Brazil (Ref. 49392).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Distinct pairing (Ref. 205).
Harmelin-Vivien, M.L. and J.-C. Quéro, 1990. Monacanthidae. p. 1061-1066. In J.C. Quero, J.C. Hureau, C. Karrer, A. Post and L. Saldanha (eds.) Check-list of the fishes of the eastern tropical Atlantic (CLOFETA). JNICT, Lisbon; SEI, Paris; and UNESCO, Paris. Vol. 2. (Ref. 3592)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
Reports of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 30911)
Fisheries: subsistence fisheries; aquarium: commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 20 - 28, mean 25.6 °C (based on 842 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5625 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.02138 (0.01038 - 0.04401), b=2.92 (2.74 - 3.10), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 2.0 ±0.1 se; based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (53 of 100) .