Dotterel filefish

Aluterus heudelotii

Family Monacanthidae - filefish

Body deep, extended posteriorly, laterally compressed; skin rough, covered with minute scale plates; color olive-brown with blue spots and lines; 2 dorsal spines, 1st spine with no barbs, 2nd spine minute; gill slit oblique, at a 45 degree angle; no enlarged scales (tympanum) above pectoral fin base; no groove in front of eye or behind dorsal spines; dorsal, anal and pectoral fins rays not branched; caudal fin long, truncate (nearly straight vertical edge); no pelvic fins; pelvic spine absent and no flap of skin in front of anal fin.
Similar Species
The dotterel filefish is more narrow in height with a longer tail than most filefishes. Differs from the orange filefish by having a longer tail fin and no orange spots. Filefishes of other genera have a pelvic spine. Differs from triggerfishes by having only 2 dorsal spines (2nd 1 minute).
Gulf, common around reefs
Maximum Size
45 cm (17 1/2 in), common to 30 cm (12 in)
Fin Element Counts
D. II+36-41; A. 39-44 (explain)
Other Common Names
Previous Scientific Names
State size/bag limits