Foxface Rabbitfish – Siganus vulpinus
Species name: Siganus vulpinus
Common names: Foxface Rabbitfish, Foxface Lo
Family: Siganidae (Rabbitfishes)
Order: Perciformes (perch-likes)
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Maximum length: 9.8 in.
Minimum tank size: 75 gallons
Aggressiveness: Peaceful but should be housed individually when older as it will fight with other related species. Will flair dorsal and anal fins when spooked.
Reef Compatibility: With caution. Reef-safe if well fed. If not, they may nip at some LPS and soft corals (usually zooanthids and button polyps).
Distribution: Western Pacific: western Philippines, Indonesia, New Guinea, Great Barrier Reef, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Caroline Islands, Marshall Islands, Nauru and Kiribati. Recently recorded from Tonga.
Diet: Omnivore. Diet should consists of a variety of meaty seafood and plant matter. Will readily accept high quality flake food, as well as almost all meaty items. Will eradicate most algae in the tank, including cyanobacteria, diatoms, hair algae.
The Foxface Rabbitfish is an attractive and hardy fish making it popular to beginners and experienced aquarists. It occurs in coral-rich areas of lagoon and seaward reefs where it is usually found singly or in pairs among Acropora where they feed on algae.
It has an elongated snout-like mouth that is used for feeding on algae and other vegetation, and a striking bright yellow body. The head and front portion of its body is striped dark brown (or black) and white. It may or may not carry a black spot on each side of its body.
The Foxface Rabbitfish have venomous spines on the dorsal and anal fins. Caution must be used when handling. While the venom is not as potent as that of a lionfish, it can inflict a nasty, painful sting. Its predators will tend to leave it alone because of its venomous dorsal spines.
It has the ability to change into a dark brown color and it is normal for it to be discolored when acclimating or any time it is stressed. This ability is most likely used as a camouflage against predators. When no longer stressed, their bright colors quickly return. The following video is a great example:
The ideal aquarium should have a temperature of 72 – 78F with a specific gravity of 1.020 – 1.025 and a pH between 8.1 and 8.4. Plenty of hiding spaces and swimming room should be provided as they are active swimmers and primarily eat by grazing.
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