Aulostomus chinensis (Linnaeus, 1766)
Aulostomus chinensis (Linnaeus, 1766)
Genus: ,

Scientific Name: Aulostomus chinensis

English Name: Chinese trumpetfish

Creole Name: Trompet

French Name: Trompette chinoise

IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)


Dorsal spines: 8-12; Dorsal rays: 24-27; Anal spines: 0; Anal rays: 26-29. 

Body elongate and laterally compressed. Head long with long tubular snout and small terminal mouth with minute teeth. Small fleshy chin barbel present.
Two dorsal fins present the first represented by 8-12 short, isolated dorsal-fin spines; the second a short soft dorsal posteriorly positioned above the anal fin which 
is similar in size and shape. The pelvic fins are abdominal, about halfway along the body. The caudal fin is small and preceded by a long slender peduncle.
Colour. The colouration of this species is variable. There are several colour forms. It is often brown or green with pale stripes and bars, and white spots posteriorly. 
A black stripe is often present on the upper jaw. The dorsal and anal fins are light with a dark basal bar. Caudal fin usually has with two round black spots, and there 
is a black spot at the pelvic-fin base. Individual fish have the ability to change their colours very quickly. A yellow (or xanthic) colour variety is common in some areas.


Maturity: Unknown. Max length : 80.0 cm TL; Common length : 60.0 cm TL.

Habitat and Ecology:

Benthopelagic, found in clear water, in rocky and coral areas of protected and seaward reefs (depth 3-200m). Spawns in pelagic waters and moves to the epipelagic zone 
as a small juvenile. Larger juveniles inhabit seagrass and coral areas. An ambush predator, it utilises stealth and camouflage to approach and catch prey. Often stalk 
their prey by shadowing or swimming alongside other larger fishes. Feeds on small fishes and shrimps. Prey is sucked in through the tubular snout when the gill membranes 
and ventral snout surface are rapidly expanded. Usually solitary. 

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. If caught it is a very rare component of the artisanal catch. 


Photos (c) 2021 and courtesy Guido Carrara. Taken off Anse Possession, Praslin. 


Bray, D.J. & Thompson, V.J. (2017). Aulostomus chinensis in Fishes of Australia. (26/10/21).
Froese, R. & D. Pauly. Eds. (2021). FishBase. Aulostomus chinensis (Linnaeus, 1766) Chinese trumpetfish. (25/10/21). 
McGratten, K. & Pollom, R. (2015). Aulostomus chinensis. The IUCN Red List 2015: e.T65134886A82934000. (25/10/21).
McGrouther, M. (2018). Trumpetfish, Aulostomus chinensis (Linnaeus, 1766). Australian Museum. (25/10/21). 


Nevill, J.E.G. & Carrara, G.  (2021). Aulostomus chinensis, Chinese trumpetfish. Seychelles Seatizens.

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