Latin name

Siganus vulpinus

Other names

Foxface, black-face rabbit fish, badger fish, common foxface.


The body is large, oval in shape, compressed at the sides, and covered with fine cycloid scales. The cheeks are usually completely covered with scales, but in some individuals the scales cover only a small area between the corner of the mouth and the lower part of the eye socket. The body height is between 1.9 and 2.4 times the standard body length. The upper profile of the head dips at an angle of about 45° to the horizontal axis of the body. The profile of the head is strongly concave above the eyes and at the chin, causing the muzzle to protrude noticeably, resembling a fox's snout. There are 13 vertebrae, with 16-20 rows of scales between the lateral line and the base of the dorsal fin.

Features of fish fins

The dorsal fin has 13 barb rays and 10 soft rays. In front of the dorsal fin there is a small, forward pointing barb that is often covered with skin. The anal fin has 7 barb rays and 9 soft rays. The hard rays of the dorsal and anal fins are connected to venom glands located at their bases. The pelvic fins have 2 spiny and 3 soft rays. The pectoral fins have 16-17 soft rays. The caudal fin is weakly serrate. 

Fish colouring

The body is bright yellow from a line drawn from the base of the third rigid ray of the dorsal fin to the anal opening. The head and anterior part of the body are white. A dark chocolate brown band runs from the base of the first dorsal ray through the eye to the end of the snout. The lower part of the chest is the same color. The cheeks and the area of the head before the beginning of the yellow area of the body are mottled with pale brown dots about the size of a pinhead. The dorsal, anal, and caudal fins are yellow. The two upper rays of the pectoral fins are chocolate in color, the remaining rays are hyaline. The outer hard and soft rays of the pelvic fins are chocolate, the rest of the pelvic fins are white. At night and in stressful situations, the coloration of the fish becomes duller.


Widespread in the western Pacific from Taiwan to Indonesia and further south to Australia and New Caledonia. Occurs off the coasts of Pacific islands (Marshall Islands, Gilbert Islands, Kiribati).


They live on coral reefs near the bottom, mainly among Scleractinia (family Acroporidae). Juveniles are held in large schools on shallow reef shoals, but when they reach 10 cm in length, they begin to live in pairs. Adults move to deeper areas and are found at depths of up to 30 meters. 


Maximum body length 25 cm, usually up to 20 cm.


They are territorial, with adults usually occurring singly or in pairs. Juveniles and adults can sometimes form large flocks. 

Food and feeding habits

Feeds on algae growing on dead coral bases.


Do not breed in aquariums, and there is no data on breeding in the wild.


Catch statistics are not kept and in some areas the species is found mixed in with reef fish caught by spearfishing.

Relationship with a person

Found in aquarium stores. Can cause painful bites.

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Perciformes
Family Siganidae
Genus Siganus
Species S. vulpinus
Conservation status Least Concern
Habitat Pelagic
Life span, years No information
Maximum body weight, kg No information
Maximum length, cm 25
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Not edible
Way of eating Planktonophage

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Foxface rabbitfish

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