Cantherhines dumerilii (Hollard, 1854)
Cantherhines dumerilii (Hollard, 1854)


Scientific Name: Cantherhines dumerilii

English Name: Whitespotted filefish

Creole Name:

French Name: Bourse à taches blanches

IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)


Dorsal spines: 2; Dorsal rays: 34-39; Anal spines: 0; Anal rays: 28-35.
Body deep, oblong and compressed. Snout profile: concave to straight. Eye set well back over gill opening. First dorsal spine originating over anterior half of eye, retracts into deep groove in back. Pelvic fin rudiment non-mobile, and not prominently projecting rearward of ventral flap. Two pairs of spines on each side of caudal peduncle. Peduncle spines small in juvenile and adult female, enlarged and recurved forward in adult male.
Colour. Body grey-brown to brown with indistinct darker bars on the rear half of the body. Eye bordered with white and bright orange-yellow iris. Lips white. Large incisor teeth reminiscent of human incisors. Dorsal, anal and pectoral fins yellow to orangish-yellow. Caudal fin orange with dusky rays. Sexually dimorphic with males having longer and deeper orange peduncular spines and deeper orange tail and eyes. Juveniles dark grey with white spots on head and body. 


Maturity: Lm unknown. Range unknown. Max Length: 38 cm TL. Common length: 25cm TL. 

Habitat and Ecology:

Inhabit coral reefs (depth 6-70m, usually 6-35m). Common in surface waters around oceanic islands. Usually solitary or in pairs. Feeds on tips of branching corals, algae, sponges, sea urchins, and molluscs. Juveniles are pelagic, seen under floating objects. The sexes are separate and males and females are often seen in pairs. Fertilization is external and females produce pelagic eggs.

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It is caught in the fish trap fishery, but is a rare component of the catch. 


Bray, D.J. Cantherhines dumerilii in Fishes of Australia, (13/07/19).

Fischer, W. & G. Bianchi (eds), (1984).  FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean; (Fishing Area 51). Prepared and printed with the support of the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA). Rome, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, vols 1-6.

Froese, R. & D. Pauly. Eds. 2019. FishBase. (13/07/19).

Heemstra P & Heemstra, E. (2004). Coastal Fishes of Southern Africa. NISC SAIAB. ISBN: 1-920033-01-7.

Matsuura, K. & Motomura, H. 2016. Cantherhines dumerilii (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List 2016: e.T69922228A115474540. (13/07/19).


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