Red cornetfish

Fistularia petimba

Family Fistulariidae - cornetfishes

Body long, tubular; color reddish to orangish brown above, lighter below, sometimes with dusky blotches on back; elongated snout with small mouth at tip; upper and sides of snout and head bony with serrated ridges, extending past head; sides of body with serrated ridge; elongate bony plates embedded in skin along midline of back; dorsal and anal fins short, sickle-shaped, opposite each other, set far back on the body; tail fin small, sickle-shaped, with long filament extending from middle of fin; pelvic fins small, abdominal (well behind pectoral fins).
Similar Species
Cornetfishes are similar to trunkfishes (family Aulostomidae), but trunkfishes do not have the long filament extending from the caudal fin, have a barbel on its lower jaw (absent in cornetfishes), and have a set of free dorsal spines on their backs. The red cornetfish is distinguished from the bluespotted cornetfish, Fistularia tabacaria, by the bony plates on the back (absent in the bluespotted cornetfish) and the lack of blue spots on the head.
Gulf, over soft bottoms
Maximum Size
150 cm (5 ft)
Fin Element Counts
D. 14-16; A. 14-15 (explain)
Other Common Names
Previous Scientific Names
State size/bag limits