Species Index

Forcipiger flavissimus
(Jordan and McGregor, 1898)

Common Name: Forceps Fish

Distribution: Common in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Occurs in both the Indian and Pacific Oceans from Mexico to East Africa, north to southern Japan, south to Lord Howe Island. In Australia recorded from Exmouth in Western Australia, from Torres Strait in Queensland south to central New South Wales and including Lord Howe Island.

Ecological Notes: Frequents exposed seaward and lagoon reefs, often in pairs or small aggregations. Depth to 145 m.

Additional Notes: Body bright yellow, upper half of head black, white below. Small black spot on anal fin. Possesses an extremely long snout, mouth has a distinct gape. Distinguished from the less common Longnose Butterflyfish, Forcipiger longirostris, by the shorter snout and lack of numerous small black spots on breast. Feeds on a variety of prey including hydroids, fish eggs and small crustaceans as well as tubefeet from echinoderms and pedicilaria of sea urchins. Grows to 22 cm.

References: R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.215.

Atlas of Living Australia website at Accessed 27/05/18.

FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. Accessed 27/05/18.