Wirenet Filefish Cantherhines pardalis

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Cantherhines pardalis is of the order of Tetraodontiformes, from the family of Monacanthidae (Puffers and Filefishes). Common names include Honeycomb Filefish, Honeycomb Leatherjacket and Wire-net Filefish.  There are three colour patterns for this species: mottled grey and brown, dark brown or grey with polygonal spots. Irrespective of colour pattern, this species has a small white spot at the end of the second dorsal fin, often on the anal fin as well. It has a dorsal spine that is of the same length as the snout. The dorsal profile of the snout is concave and the caudal fin is rounded[1]. In adult males, the side of the caudal peduncle has a dense patch of setae.  It has a total of 2 dorsal spines; 32 to 36 dorsal soft rays; 0 anal spines and 29 to 32 anal soft rays[2].


[1] ‘Honeycomb Filefish - Cantherhines Pardalis - FishBase (Fish Species) - Details’.

[2] ‘Cantherhines Pardalis Summary Page’.

Habitat and ecology

This species is present in the Indo-Pacific region, from the south of the Red Sea  to South Africa and East to Southern Japan and South-Eastern Oceania, Eastern Atlantic, Gulf of Guinea, Annobon Islands, South coast of Africa. Its recorded depth range is between 2 to 20m. The Wire-net filefish can be found on outer reef slopes and silty habitats. Juveniles can be found floating with loose surface weeds and adults are often found with large Sargassum rafts. This species is solitary and deemed secretive. Its diet consists of benthic organisms (found on the seafloor).


Conservation and management

According to the IUCN Red List, this species is listed under the ‘Least Concern’ category. It is commonly found in the Indo-Pacific region. No species specific conservation measures are in place but it is present in many MPAs (Marine Protected Areas). It has little commercial importance which is not a major threat. Although associated with coral reefs, populations of this species have not been significantly impacted[1].


[1] Matsuura and Motomura, ‘Cantherhines Pardalis’.

Did you know?

This species can reach a maximum length of 25cm.