Rabbitfish, also known as Spinefoots, are saltwater fish that belongs to the Rabbitfish family. There are 28 species of Rabbitfish that can be found in the warm tropical waters of Indo-Pacific.
Several species of Rabbitfish reached and settled in the Mediterranean due to Lessepsian Migration. After construction of the Suez Canal it allowed Rabbitfish and other marine life to migrate to other waters. Rabbitfish usually inhabit coastal waters, lagoons and coral reefs. They can be found on an average depth from 10 – 30 metres. They are popular as aquarium fish because of their colourful bodies. Several species of Rabbitfish are commercially important (they are used as a source of food). Exact number of Rabbitfish in the wild is unknown.
Most species of rabbitfish are olive or brown colored, with yellow, black and white markings on the body and tail. Some species have black stripes which stretch diagonally from mouth to the top of the head and cover the eyes.
They are able to change the colour of their body during the night or when it is faced with danger and to blend with the colors of its environment.
They are herbivores eating mostly on algae. Some species of Rabbitfish eat zooplankton and corals.
They have spiny fins which are equipped with venomous glands. Hardly detectable spines become prominent when Rabbitfish are threatened. Although painful, their venom is not life threatening for humans.
They tend to live in pairs, forming couples and staying together until one dies.
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