Japanese Filefish

(Stephanolepis cirrhifer )

Stephanolepis cirrhifer, commonly known as the Whitespotted filefish or Japanese filefish, is a species belonging to the family Monacanthidae. This fish is native to the western Pacific Ocean, particularly found in coastal waters around Japan and Korea, extending into the Yellow Sea and East China Sea.

The Whitespotted filefish is known for its distinctive appearance, with a laterally compressed body and a small, pointed mouth. It has a rough, sandpaper-like texture on its skin, which aids in camouflage among algae and rocky substrates. The coloration of Stephanolepis cirrhifer can vary, but it typically includes shades of green, brown, or yellow with white spots or mottling, helping it blend into its environment.

These filefish are omnivorous, feeding on a variety of algae, small invertebrates, and sometimes coral polyps. They play a role in marine ecosystems by controlling algae growth and participating in nutrient cycling.

Stephanolepis cirrhifer is also of interest in aquaculture due to its adaptability and relatively low demand for specialized diets. In some regions, it is targeted in fisheries for both food and the aquarium trade, though sustainable management practices are increasingly emphasized to ensure the species’ conservation.