Caught in the Seine: Filefish

(c) Sarah Lardizabal

Its hard to say with real certainty which species of filefish this 2″ juvenile represents.  There are two species – Stephanolepsis hispidus, the planehead filefish and Monacanthus ciliatus, the fringed filefish – that inhabit the Indian River Lagoon system and make use of seagrass beds as nursery grounds.  Its not common to pull adults from seine nets, but just last week I came across the decomposing corpse of an adult that had been caught on a line, mistaken for a pufferfish (which are illegal to possess at the moment), and left for dead on the shoreline near Grant, FL.