Caracanthus unipinna Click to enlarge image
A 3cm long Coral Croucher collected at a depth of 5m, Mindoro Island, Philippine Islands. This fish was collected during the Mindoro Island Expedition (MIN 00-61). Image: Jeff Williams
© Jeff Williams

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    unipinna
    Genus
    Caracanthus
    Family
    Caracanthidae
    Order
    Scorpaeniformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    It grows to 5 cm in length.

Introduction

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.

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.

Habitat

It lives in between the branches of corals.

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.



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.