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

Image copyrights: Randall, JE

Size: 37-45 cm.

Color: Head and body with a vermiculate pattern, the darker colored areas brownish, the paler ones bluish above grading to silvery below; darker lines much broader than paler ones on nape and head, about equal in breadth posteriorly. Head with a golden flush; lines on cheek blue. Dark lines breaking into spots on caudal fin, spots arranged in 4 vertical rows. Dark spots also present on soft parts of dorsal and anal fins, arranged in rows, the proximal row prominent; other parts of median fins dusky; pectoral fins hyaline; pelvic fins dusky and golden yellow.

Height 1.8-1.9, 2.3-2.5 in length with caudal. Head 3.2-3.7, 4-4.5 in length with caudal. Eye 3.2-3.6, 1.4-1.9 in snout, and 1-1.3 in slightly convex inter orbital space. First dorsal spine somewhat less than eye. Following spines increasing in length to the seventh, which equals snout or snout and half eye, the spines behind the seventh somewhat shorter, but the last again as long as the seventh. Soft dorsal more or less pointed, the median rays longest, equal to snout and eye or half diameter of eye shorter. First anal spine more than eye, following spine increasing in length to the last, which equals snout or snout and half diameter of eye. Soft anal similar to soft dorsal. Pectorals about half length of snout shorter than head. Ventrals equal to snout and half eye. Caudal emarginate. Caudal peduncle about as long as deep, its least depth somewhat more or less than eye. Preopercular angle 91A°-102A°. Strong overlapping scales cover cheeks. Midline of thorax scaled, not pelvic ridges. Anterior nostril with low flange, broadened slightly posteriorly. Spines stout, blunt or pungent, and venomous. Dorsal spines (total): 13 - 13, Dorsal soft rays (total): 10 - 10, Anal spines: 7, Anal soft rays: 9, Vertebrae: 13.

Dioecious, external fertilization, nonguarders, open water or substratum egg scatterers. Throughout summer, adults form inshore breeding groups of several hundred individuals on the 7th or 8th days of the lunar month, pairs break from these groups to spawn. The species has a high fecundity of 350,000 or spawning season.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Amphacanthus russelii Valenciennes, 1835
Amphacanthus vermiculatus Valenciennes, 1835
Siganus shortlandensis Seale, 1906
Teuthis argentea (non Quoy & Gaimard, 1825)
Teuthis vermiculata (Valenciennes, 1835)
Teuthis vermiculatus (Valenciennes, 1835)
Amphacanthus vermiculatus Schlegel and Muller, 1844
Amphacanthus vermiculatus Bleeker, 1850
Teuthis vermiculata Gunther, 1861
Teuthis vermiculata Day, 1875
Teuthis vermiculata Macleay, 1881
Siganus vermicularis Jordan and Evermann, 1902
Siganus vermiculatus Seale, 1910
Siganus vermiculatus Fowler, 1928
Teuthis vermiculata Herre and Montalban, 1928
Siganus vermiculatus Fowler and Bean, 1920
Siganus vermiculatus Fowler, 1934
Teuthis vermiculatus Herre, 1936

Common Name (s)
• Vermiculated Spinefoot (English)
• Vermiculate Rabbitfish (English)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries, aquarium)

Habitat:  Reef Associated, Estuarine, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Primary Consumer
Prey:  Plants, benthic algae/weeds


• Orissa, Chilika Lake INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andaman Islands INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Great Nicobar Island INDIA (Record: 08/2000-07/2003)
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, North Reef Island INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• Maharashtra, Malvan (Lat: 16.07) (Long: 73.47) 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 -
  • Rama Rao, KV (1995) Pisces Wetland ecosystem series 1: Fauna of Chilika lake ZSI, Calcutta 483-506 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Ocean Biogeographic Information System Available at -
  • James, C; O'Farrell, S; Hamylton, S; Ingwersen, C and Walker, R The coral reef resources of Mu Ko Surin national park, Thailand Coral Cay Conservation Available at -
  • 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 -
  • 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 -
  • Rajaram, R; Srinivasan, M; Khan, SA and Kannan, L (2004) Ichthyofaunal diversity of great Nicobar Island, Bay of Bengal Journal of Indian fisheries association 31 13-26 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Rao, GC; Rao, DV and Devi, K (1994) A faunal exploration of the North Reef Island sanctuary, North Andaman Journal of the Andaman Science Association Andaman Science Association, Port Blair 10(1&2) 68-81 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Mehta, R; Mehta, HS and Rajan, PT (1989) Caudal skeleton in some perciform fishes and its value in systematics Journal of Andaman Science Association Andaman Science Association, Port Blair 5(2) 108-112 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
  • Pillai, PKM and Augustine, SK (2000) A code list of common marine living resources of the Indian seas CMFRI Special Publication No.12 CMFRI 1-115 Available at -
  • Tike, MJ; Samant, JS; Mohite, SA (2009) Diversity status of minor fish and shellfish along Malvan coast, Maharshtra Indian Journal of Applied and Pure Biology Indian Journal of Applied and Pure Biology, India 24(2) 441-448 Available at -

Page last updated on:2012-02-01

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