Animal Species:Coral Croucher, Caracanthus unipinna (Gray, 1831)

The Coral Croucher is covered with papillae, giving it a furry appearance. It occurs in tropical marine waters of the Indo-West Pacific, living in between the branches of corals.

A Coral Croucher collected at Mindoro Island

Jeff Williams © Jeff Williams

Standard Common Name

Coral Croucher

Identification

The Coral Croucher has an oval-shaped body. It is covered with papillae, giving it a furry appearance.

The fish is entirely brown, but paler ventrally.

The family Caracanthidae contains a single genus and four species. Caracanthids are related to the scorpionfishes. This relationship does not seem likely when looking at the adults, but becomes obvious when the larvae are examined.

Size range

It grows to 5 cm in length.

Distribution

The Coral Croucher occurs in tropical marine waters of the Indo-West Pacific.

In Australia it is recorded from the northern to southern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Caracanthus unipinna

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Coral Croucher specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Habitat

It lives in between the branches of corals.

Classification

Species:
unipinna
Genus:
Caracanthus
Family:
Caracanthidae
Order:
Scorpaeniformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. Coral Graphics. Pp. 330.
  2. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fish, ichthyology, Coral Croucher, Caracanthus unipinna, papillae, furry appearance, tropical water, marine, coral reef, oval-shaped body, brown, < 10 cm, Great Barrier Reef,