Siganus spinus   (Linnaeus,  1758) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Sultanate of Oman

Size : 26-28 cm.

Color: The species can adopt a number of camouflage patterns involving off-white, pale gray to blackish, and various shades of brown. The basic pattern consists of a labyrinth of narrow bands with upper half vermiculate, the lower ones tend to meander horizontally. This pattern extends to the fins. Iris golden, dissected by a chocolate cross. 4-5 irregular off-white bars on caudal peduncle.

Height 2.5-2.8, 3-3.3 in length with caudal. Head 3.7-3.9, 4.4-4.8 in length with caudal. Eye 2.7-3.2, 1.1-1.2 in snout. Inter orbital space flat, 1.2-1.3 in eye. Cheeks with a few deciduous scales, embedded in the skin. Anterior nostril with a long flap, longer than distance between anterior and posterior nostrils. First dorsal spine somewhat less than eye. Seventh or eighth spine longest, equal to snout and half eye or slightly more. Last spine equal to eye. Soft dorsal rounded, the median rays longest, equal to snout and eye. First anal spine longer than first dorsal one, following spines sub equal, one half or one third diameter of eye longer than snout, excepting the last which equals snout in length. Pectorals about half length of snout shorter than head. Ventrals equal to head without snout. Caudal slightly emarginate, almost truncate when the fin is expanded. Caudal peduncle slender, its least depth 1.6-1.7 in its length, and 1.4-1.6 in eye. Scales fine on cheeks, densely packed over lower 2 or 3 of preopercular region. Midline of thorax without scales between pelvic ridges. Fin spines stout, pungent, venomous. Preopercular angle 87-100 degrees. Dorsal spines (total): 13 - 13, Dorsal soft rays (total): 10 - 10, Anal spines: 7, Anal soft rays: 9, Vertebrae: 13.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Sparus spinus Linnaeus, 1758
Scarus siganus Forsskal, 1775
Amphacanthus marmorathus Quoy and Gaimard, 1824
Amphacanthus marmoratus Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1835
Amphacanthus gymnopareius Richardson, 1843
Amphacanthus scaroides Bleeker, 1853
Teuthis striolata Gunther, 1861
Amphacanthus marmorathus Kner, 1867
Teuthis nebulosa Playfair, 1866
Amphacanthus nebulosus Steindachner, 1866
Amphacanthus sigan Klunzinger, 1871
Teuthis striolata Gunther, 1875
Teuthis marmorata Day, 1875
Amphacanthus sigan Kossmann and Rauber, 1877
Teuthis nebulosa Macleay, 1881
Teuthis sigan Klunzinger, 1884
Teuthis siganus Sauvage, 1891
Teuthis marmorata Steindachner, 1901
Siganas marmorata Seale, 1901
Teuthis sigan Steindachner and Denkschr, 1902
Siganus marmoratus Jordan and Seale, 1907
Siganus marmoratus Jordan and Richardson, 1908
Siganus marmoratus Snyder, 1912
Amphacanthus marmoratus M. Weber, 1913
Amphacanthus striolatus de Beaufort, 1913
Siganus nebulosus McCulloch, 1922
Siganus nebulosus Barnard, 1927
Teuthis marmorata Vinciguerra, 1926
Siganus rivulatus Fowler and Bean, 1927
Amphacanthus nebulosus Whitley, 1928
Siganus rivulatus Fowler, 1928
Teuthis striolata Herre and Montalban, 1928
Siganus spinus Fowler and Bean, 1928
Siganus nebulosus McCulloch, 1929
Siganus rivulatus Fowler, 1931
Teuthis striolata Herre, 1936
Siganus spinus Fowler, 1938
Siganus spinus L. P. Schultz, 1943
Teuthis siganus Blegvad, 1944

Common Name (s)
• Spiny Rabbitfish (English)
• Scribbled Rabbitfish (English)
• Scibbled Spinefoot (English)
• Little Spinefoot (English)
• Black Trevally (English)
• Squaretail Rabbitfish (English)
• Marbled Spinefoot (English)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries, aquarium. The early stages are pickled in brine or made into fish pastes and sauces; adults are eaten fresh, Ornamental fish)

Habitat:  Reef Associated
Trophic Level:  Primary Consumer
Prey:  Benthic algae/weeds, blue-green algae, diatoms, other plants
Predator:  Tuna


• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andaman Islands (Lat: 12.5) (Long: 92.75) INDIA
• Gulf of Oman
• South Coast INDIA
• Persian Gulf
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai Coast INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andaman Islands INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Pulicat Lake INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Rao, DV; Devi, K and Rajan, PT (2000) An account of ichthyofauna of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Bay of Bengal Occasional paper no 178 Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI, Calcutta 1-434 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Devi, K and Rao, DV (2003) Poisonous and venomous fishes of Andaman Islands, Bay of Bengal Occasional paper no 211 Records of The Zoolgical Survey of India ZSI, Calcutta 25934 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre Available at -
  • Devi, K and Rao, DV (2003) A field guide to the fishes of Acanthuridae (surgeonfishes) and Siganidae (rabbitfishes) of Andaman and Nicobar Islands 42 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Hussain, SM Brief report on biodiversity in the coastal areas of Pakistan p 113
  • Wassef, EA and Abdul, HH (2001) Some biological studies and gonadal development of rabbitfish Siganus canaliculatus (Park) and Siganus spinus L. (F: Siganidae) from the Gulf waters off Saudi Arabia Journal of King Abdulaziz University Marine Sciences 189-208 Available at - ZOOR14010060799
  • Allen, GR and Mohammed, A (2003) Coral Reef Fishes of Indonesia Zoological Studies 42(1) 26299 Available at - Digital Information Resource Center, Pune.
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Al-Abdessalaam, TZS (1995) Marine species of the Sultanate of Oman p 412 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Marine Biological Station, Chennai, Tamil Nadu (2003) Checklist of marine fauna of Tamil Nadu Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Available at -
  • Dr. Ramesh, R; Dr. Nammalwar, P and Dr. Gowri, VS (2008) Database on coastal information of Tamil Nadu Report Submitted to Environmental Information System (ENVIS) Centre, Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Institute for Ocean Management, Anna University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Available at -
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Beaufort, LF and Chapman, WM (1951) The fishes of the Indo-Australian Archipelago A. J. Reprints agency, Karol Bagh, New Delhi 9 484 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • 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 -
  • Raj, PJS (2006) Macro fauna of Pulicat lake NBA bulletin No.6 NBA Available at -
  • Murty, VS (1996) Marine ornamental fishes of India Proceedings of the Seminar on Fisheries - A Multibillion Dollar Industry, Madras CMFRI 23-34 Available at -
  • Varghese, M; Manisseri, MK; Ramamurthy, N; Geetha, PM; Thomas, VJ and Gandhi, A (2011) Coral reef fishes of Gulf of Mannar, S.E of India Fishing Chimes CMFRI 31(1) 38-40 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Talwar, PK (1990) Fishes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands: A synoptic survey Journal of the Andaman Science Association Andaman Science Association, Port Blair 6(2) 71-102 Available at - NIO,Goa
  • Rao, DV and Devi, Kamlahttp:// (1996) Notes on rabbit fishes (Family: Siganidae) of Andaman and Nicobar islands Journal of Andaman Science Association Andaman Science Association, Central Agricultural Research Institute, Andaman, India 12 (1-2) 84-88 Available at - NIO, Goa

Page last updated on:2011-10-07

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