Bluespotted cornetfish

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Bluespotted cornetfish
Fistularia commersonii1.jpg
Fistularia commersonii from Maldives
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Syngnathiformes
Family: Fistulariidae
Genus: Fistularia
F. commersonii
Binomial name
Fistularia commersonii
Rüppell, 1838 [2]

Fistularia depressa Günther, 1880

The bluespotted cornetfish (Fistularia commersonii), also known as smooth cornetfish or smooth flutemouth, is a marine fish which belongs to the family Fistulariidae. This very long and slender reef-dweller belongs to the same order as the pipefishes and seahorses, called Syngnathiformes.


It is widespread in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indo-Pacific as far north as Japan and east to the coasts of the Americas,[1] including the Red Sea.[3] In 2000, its presence was reported in the Mediterranean Sea; since then, it has continued to disperse and is now well established in some areas.[4] This species is considered as part of the Lessepsian migration.[5] It has spread rapidly through the Mediterranean from its origin in the Suez Canal, the first records being off Israel in 2000 and it had reached the southern coast of Spain[6] and as far north as the Gulf of Lions by 2007.[7] Scientists have determined that the fish in the Mediterranean are all descended from a small number of ancestors, possibly as a result of a single invasion event, and are not as genetically variable as their conspecifics in the Red Sea.[7]


Fistularia commersonii from French Polynesia

The bluespotted cornetfish grows to a length of 1.6 m (5.2 ft), but the average is around 1 metre (3 ft 3 in).[3] It is notable for its unusually long, slender body shape.[4] It has a tubular snout, large eyes and a long tail filament lined with sensory pores which may help with detecting prey. Its body is greenish-grey to brown with two thin blue stripes or lines of dots on the back and lighter on the front.[3] Its body pattern changes to a broad banded pattern at night.[4]


The bluespotted cornetfish is usually a solitary predator, stalking and feeding on small fishes, crustaceans, and squid.[3] Sometimes, they feed in small groups along the bottom on small, bottom-dwelling fish which their long snouts are very efficient at sucking up. Reproduction is oviparous.[3] The large eggs hatch and develop outside of the body. Larvae hatch at 6–7 millimetres (0.24–0.28 in).

Human relevance[edit]

The fish is of minor importance commercially, mostly being sold as fish meal but also fresh and preserved.[4] It is also sold as an aquarium fish.


The specific name honours the French botanist Philibert Commerson (1727-1773).[8]


  1. ^ a b Pollom, R. (2016). "Fistularia commersonii (errata version published in 2017)". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T18257780A115368874. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T18257780A88675577.en.
  2. ^ "Fistularia commersonii". Integrated Taxonomic Information System.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2018). "Fistularia commersoni" in FishBase. February 2018 version.
  4. ^ a b c d Bray, Dianne; Thompson, Vanessa. "Smooth Flutemouth, Fistularia commersonii". Fishes of Australia. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  5. ^ "Fistularia commersonii Bluespotted Cornetfish". Encyclopedia of Life. eol. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  6. ^ Domenico Meloni & Pierluigi Piras (2013). "Fistularia commersonii (Syngnathiformes Fistularidae), in the South-Western Mediterranean Sea" (PDF). Biodiversity Journal. 4 (3): 435–438.
  7. ^ a b Ernesto Azzurro; S. Soto; Germana Garafolo & Francesc Maynou (2012). "Fistularia commersoniiin the Mediterranean Sea: Invasion history and distributional modeling based on presence only records". Biological Invasions. 15 (5): 977–990. doi:10.1007/s10530-012-0344-4. hdl:10261/83100.
  8. ^ "Biographical Etymology of Marine Organism Names. C". Hans G. Hansson. Retrieved 10 June 2018.

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