Bristletail Filefish

Bristletail Filefish

Found at depths from 2-12 metres in the Indo-Pacific from Sri Lanka to North East Australia. Adults inhabit reef, weed, and rubble areas on shallow coral reefs and are commonly found in seagrasses. 

Zoo Diet

We plan to use these filefish in controlling the anemone Aiptasia, which can be an aquarium ‘pest’. The fish are also fed mysis (shrimp) three times a day. 

Wild Diet

Major food items include amphipods, polychaetes and molluscs.


Filefish are solitary. They have a thickened first dorsal fin spine and a fleshy flap of skin attached to a spinous ray on their underside. During displays with other fish, particularly other filefish, they erect these to increase size and posture to rivals or potential partners.


Females begin to develop eggs when about 4.5 cm/1.8” long. Most individuals caught at around 4.5-6.5 cm/1.8-2.6” have moderately developed eggs and these are fully developed when females reach the 8 cm/3.1” mark.
Filefish are egg depositors and lay spherical, adhesive eggs usually near the substrate. 


Although this species may occur among coral reefs that are experiencing decline, significant portions of its population utilize seagrass beds and other habitat types.


Although there are no specific conservation measures in place, it likely occurs in marine protected areas throughout its range.

Bristletail Filefish Bristletail Filefish


  • Latin Name: Acreichthys tomentosus
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern
Quotes The presenter talks were great, we learnt a lot about the animals here. Quotes