WWF - Orange Spot Filefish on new stamps by Vanuatu

March 28th, 2013

Vanuatu Post in conjunction with WWF are pleased to raise awareness to the plight of the Orange Spot Filefish as numbers are continuously being depleted by collectors who struggle to keep these beautiful fish in captivity.

Also known as the Harlequin filefish, The Orange Spotted Filefish is a member of the Monacanthidae family and is found throughout the Indian and West Pacific Oceans. It is distinguished by its pale blue colouring and longitudinal rows of orange-yellow patches.

Typically reaching a maximum size of about 11 cm. in length, the Orange Spot Filefish is found in pairs or small groups often among branching or "tabletop" corals; seaward coral reefs or clear lagoons to a depth of 4-30 m. It is non-migratory and prefers a peaceful environment with plenty of hiding places and uses the Acropora as a disguise when hiding or at rest.

It is passive in nature and more active during the daytime when feeding takes place. Its diet is exclusively Acropora polyps and feeding on live coral makes this fish extremely difficult to keep in domestic situations. Its feeding habits restrict the fish to areas of abundant coral growth, preferably with lumps of algae, which are used as shelter to assist in egg fertilization.