The venomous Foxface Rabbitfish.
Neither Fox Nor Rabbit
The Foxface Rabbitfish, or Siganus vulpinus, is a reef species of fish with a very distinctive look beyond their flat, yellow bodies. Large, dark eyes, a mouth that looks similar to that of a rabbit’s, and a gentle demeanor give the rabbitfish their name. While all rabbitfish have these features, the foxface rabbitfish is recognizable because of its dark brown and white striped face, which is commonly called foxface.
In the Wild
The foxface rabbitfish, sometimes referred to as foxface lo, can be found in the reefs and lagoons of the Western Pacific Ocean. It tends to inhabit areas with dense coral where it can feed on algae growths. Younger foxface lo tend to swim in schools whereas adults tend to swim in pairs. Male and female foxface rabbitfish can stretch up to 9” long but will seek a mate when they’re around 4”. Once in a mating pair, foxface rabbitfish will stay in the pair until one fish dies.
Despite it’s gentle appearance, the foxface rabbitfish doesn’t have many predators in the wild. This marine fish comes equipped with 13 venomous spines on its dorsal fin with an addition 7 spines on its anal fin. The spines typically ward off any predators, and though not deadly to humans, the venom can cause severe pain and swelling.
In the Tank
This marine fish is known for doing quite well in most aquarium environments. Though sometimes territorial, the foxface rabbitfish’s gentle personality means it’s not aggressive towards most other fish. If given enough food, the foxface lo will also leave coral and living rocks be. Given its venomous spines, it does well with more aggressive fish species.
Normally grazers in the wild, these fish can also be fed on algae-based pellets or fish flakes. Encouraging natural growth of algae will give the foxface lo a chance to follow their natural feeding instincts.
Venomous but Docile
The foxface rabbitfish’s spines can be quite daunting, but if they are handled properly, these fish will remain gentle and a superior fish for your saltwater aquarium.
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