Pineconefishes

PineconefishThese non-aggressive fish are named for there pinecone or pineapple like appearance. They are nocturnal feeders and can usually be found alone or in a pair under ledges or inside caves during the day.

To assist in attracting the small shrimp which are their usual diet, pinecone fishes have light organs located on both sides just below the lower jaw. These light organs activate symbiotic phosphorescent bacteria which create a greenish glow in the dark. As the fish age the colour of the light is reported to change to red.


PineconefishPineconefishTwo species of Pineconefish are found in Australia.

The Japanese Pineconefish (Monocentris japonicus) is yellow in colour with black scale margins. It grows to around 17 cm and its scales form a bony carapace. Its light organs are small and rectangular in shape. They are generally found in 15 - 200m. They have been found in numerous locations around the world including the Red Sea, South Africa, Mauritius, Sri Lanka to Australia, Japan to North New Zealand.

PineconefishThe Pineapplefish (Cleidopus gloriamaris) is named for its pineapple-like appearance. This species has been reported only in the east and west coasts of Australia with no reports from Victoria, Tasmania or South Australia. It is yellowish in colour with dark scale margins and grows to around 25cm in length. Its light organs are some what larger than those of M. japonicus and are more ovular in shape. They are found in rocky and coral reefs in 5 - 50 m. The Pineapplefish is also known as the Knightfish.

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