Paraluteres prionurus (Bleeker, 1851)
False puffer
photo by Malaer, P.

Family:  Monacanthidae (Filefishes)
Max. size:  11 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; marine; depth range 1 - 25 m, non-migratory
Distribution:  Indo-Pacific: East Africa south to Aliwal Shoal, South Africa (Ref. 4421) and east to Fiji, north to southern Japan, south to the southern Great Barrier Reef and New Caledonia. Recently recorded from Tonga (Ref. 53797). Replaced by Paraluteres arquat in the Red Sea.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 2-2; Dorsal soft rays (total): 25-28; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 22-25. Ranges from pale greenish to dirty white in color; blackish-brown saddles above; normally with a round dark blotch above origin of anal fin; soft dorsal and anal fins hyaline, tips dusky; caudal fin yellowish (Ref. 4421). Description: Characterized by first dorsal spine shorter than snout, origin above posterior half of eye and folding into groove along back; straight or slightly concave dorsal profile of snout; pelvic rudiment very small or absent, absence of ventral flap; broad, elliptical, dense patch of setae posteriorly on body, ending in two pairs of anteriorly directed spines on base of caudal fin; depth of body at origin of anal fin 2.0-2.4 in SL (Ref. 90102).
Biology:  Inhabit clear lagoon and seaward reefs to at least 25 meters (Ref. 5503). Solitary or in small groups (Ref. 9710). Adults usually in pairs, but sometimes seen in small aggregations (Ref. 48637). Mimic the poisonous puffer, Canthigaster valentini which it greatly resembles. Feed on eggs, gastropods and grazes the substrate (Ref. 5503, 48637).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 02 July 2015 Ref. (124695)
Threat to humans:  harmless
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