Siganus sutor   (Valenciennes,  1835) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Randall, J.E.

Size: 30-45 cm.

Color: Highly variable, depending on mood of fish and color of substrate. In life, usually green grey to sandy above, paler below; sides with about 30 large spots, the largest bigger than pupil; spots evenly spaced over sides in 6 irregular rows, the upper row lying close to lateral line, their color changing from blue to cream to silvery; centres of spots much darker than perimeters in certain phases of change. Frightened and injured fish are mottled brown, with 6 darker diagonal zones alternating with 6 paler ones across head, trunk and fins; mottling includes dappling with numerous small spots, large spots often obscured. Caudal fin yellow brown, outer rays sometimes barred with paler; dorsal fin rays banded; pectoral fins hyaline; other fins mottled dark and lighter brown. After death, brown mottled with dark brown; spots absent.

Body compressed, fairly slender, its depth contained 2.2 to 2.6 times in standard length. Head pointed, upper profile only slightly concave above eye; anterior nostril with a long flap in juveniles, shortening progressively with age, the tip reaching less than halfway to posterior nostril in specimens more than 12 cm standard length. A forward-directed spine present in front of dorsal fin; longest dorsal spine 5th to 8th; last dorsal spine the shortest, but not less than half the length of longest; longest anal spine 3rd or 4th, 1.3 to 1.5 times the length of last anal spine; caudal fin forked, median rays half to two-thirds the length of longest rays. Scales minute; cheeks either scaleless or with a few to many very fine scales; 26 to 31 scale rows between lateral line and bases of leading dorsal spines.

Max. age reported: 3 years.

Synonym (s)
Amphacanthus abhortani Valenciennes, 1835
Amphacanthus olivaceus Valenciennes, 1835
Amphacanthus sutor Valenciennes, 1835
Buro brunneus Lacepede, 1803
Teuthis abhortani (Valenciennes, 1835)

Common Name (s)
• Shoemaker Spinefoot (English)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial, Dangers

Habitat:  Reef Associated
Trophic Level:  Primary Consumer
Prey:  Benthic algae/weeds, periphyton, other plants
Predator:  Plectropomus leopardus


• Kerala, Ayiramthengu INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Majumdar, N (1984) On a collection of birds from Adilabad district, Andhra Pradesh Occasional paper no 65 Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI 23012 Available at - ZSI, Pune
  • Rouphael, T; Turak, E and Jon, B Seagrasses and mangroves of Yemen's Red Sea 41-89
  • Harris, SA and Cyrus, DP (1995) Occurrence of fish larvae in the St Lucia estuary, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa South African Journal of Marine Science 16 333 - 350 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Heemstra, E; Heemstra, P; Smale, M; Hoopers, T and Pelicier, D (2004) Preliminary checklist of coastal fishes from the Mauritian island of Rodrigues Journal of natural history Taylor and Francis 38(23-24) 3315 - 3350 Available at - index/
  • Letourneur, Y; Chabanet, P; Durville, P; Taquet, M; Teissier, E; Parmentier, M; Quero, JC and Pothin, K (2004) An updated checklist of the marine fish fauna of Reunion Island, south-western Indian Ocean Cybium 28(3) 199-216
  • Grandcourt Edwin Mark (2002) Demographic characteristics of a selection of exploited reef fish from the Seychelles: Preliminary study Marine and Freshwater Research 53(2) 123-130 Available at - Zoological Records
  • Martens, EE and De Clerck, GG (1994) Interstitial and parasitic Platyhelminthes from the coast of the Seychelles Oceanic reefs of the Seychelles: report on a cruise of RV Tyro to the Seychelles in 1992 and 1993 National Museum of Natural History, Leiden 97-106 Available at - Zoological Records
  • Bhagwant, S (2003) Metal uptake in three edible lagoon fish species, Abudefduf saxatilis, Siganus sutor and Epinephelus merra from Bain des Dames, Mauritius Ecology, Environment and Conservation 9(2) 235-238 Available at - ZOOR14004024220
  • Bhagwant, S (2003) Mercury and zinc metal levels in tissues of four edible lagoon fish species from Bain des Dames, Mauritius Ecology, Environment and Conservation 9(2) 239-243 Available at - ZOOR14004024222
  • (1998) Marine crabs of India National Institute of Oceanography Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Fischer, W and Bianchi, G (Eds.) (1984) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean (Fishing Area 51) FAO, Rome 4 Available at -
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Balasubramanian, T and Ajmal, SK(Eds by) (2004) Checklist of fish fauna of Ayiramthengu mangroves,Kollam district, Kerala, India Seshaiyana 12(2) Available at -

Page last updated on:2010-12-29

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