Fish Species at

The Filefish Files

With a few exceptions, the intriguing filefish makes for a wonderful, hardy aquarium subject.

By John Dawes

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With a tiny mouth located at the tip of a pointed snout, no filefish, however large it may be (and some species can exceed 36 inches in length), could possibly inflict a life-threatening bite on an unwary diver or aquarist. At least one species of filefish, the smooth, or velvet, leatherjacket (Meuschenia scaber), appears to have a distinct tendency to nip exposed human skin, as some Australian and New Zealand divers have discovered, but that’s about as far as its physical threat goes. Yet, filefishes can cause severe health problems for humans.

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