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Yellow Masked Tweezer Fish (Forcipiger flavissimus)

Yellow Masked Tweezer Fish ( Forcipiger flavissimus )

Spinefish (Acanthopterygii)
Perch relatives (Percomorphaceae)
Order : Surgeonfish (Acanthuriformes)
Family : Butterflyfish (Chaetodon)
Genre : Forcipiger
Scientific name
Jordan & McGregor , 1898

Forcipiger is a species of butterfly fish (Chaetodon)comprising only three very similar species. The genus has the largest distribution area of ​​all butterflyfish genera. It extends from the Red Sea and the east coast of Africa across the entire tropical Indian Ocean and Pacific to southern Baja California , the Revillagigedo and Galápagos Islands and the Pacific coast of Panama . The northern limit of their range is on the coasts of southern Japan , near the Ogasawara Islands and Hawaii , in the south they still occur near Lord Howe Island .


The three species are 17 to 22 centimeters long, have high backs and have a yellow base color. The top of the head is dark, in Forcipiger flavissimus black, the underside white. Dorsal and anal fins are yellow with light blue edges. Forcipiger flavissimus and Forcipiger longirostris form melanistic , brown or black morphs in some regions, especially in the Pacific . The snout is drawn out very long, longer than that of Chelmon , which gave the fish the common German name tweezers. Forcipiger flavissimus and Forcipiger longirostris have a small eye-spot in the upper, soft-rayed part of the anal fin . Forcipiger is a sister group of a common clade of Hemitaurichthys , Johnrandallia and the banner fish ( Heniochus ).

Way of life

Adult Forcipigans are territorial and live solitary or in pairs in coral and rock reefs . Forcipiger species feed on small invertebrates, which they can pull with their long snouts from dense coral stocks and crevices. They also eat the Ambulakralfüßchen of sea urchins , which they sent to pick between the spikes, or gills of polychaete (Polychaeta). The post-larval juvenile forms are relatively large, which is probably due to a long, pelagic larval phase.



Individual evidence

  1. Fessler, Jennifer L. & Westneat, Mark W. (2007): Molecular phylogenetics of the butterflyfishes (Chaetodontidae): Taxonomy and biogeography of a global coral reef fish family. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 45 (1): 50-68. doi : 10.1016 / j.ympev.2007.05.018
  2. Debelius, Kuiter (2003)
  3. Steene (1977)

Web links

Commons : Forcipiger  - collection of images, videos and audio files