[Full Text Link
Aulostomus maculatus Species ID:
A long slender fish with small fins at the rear of the body (1) and a thickelongated snout (2) with a pointed barbel on the lower jaw (3). These fish can change colour at will, although three basic colour schemes exist: reddish brown, gray with a blue snout, and yellow. Common markings include pale horizontal stripes and dark speckles (4). Sexes appear similar and juveniles resemble adults Maximum Size:
1 m (3 ft) Longevity:
Not currently on the IUCN endangered species list Atlantic Trumpetfish & People:
May be consumed locally, but not important in commercial fisheries or the aquarium trade
Found throughout the Caribbean, but is more common in the Lesser Antilles (south-east Caribbean) Coral Reef Zone:
Found in the back reef and fore reef zones Favourite Habitat:
Trumpetfish prefer habitats with vertical structures, such as gorgonian corals, in which they can camouflage themselves Depth:
A Day in The Life
Dawn: Found stalking prey on the reef, when the low light augments its natural camouflage and increases hunting success
Day: Stalking prey by mimicking vertical structures like sponges and soft corals
Dusk: Stalking prey, and may also move into the deeper fore reef zone to spawn
Night: Found hiding under ledges, or camouflaged next to vertical structures
Who Eats Who?
Trumpetfish are predators, and consume many small reef creatures, such as shrimps, chromis, wrasses, juvenile grunts and soldierfish. Trumpetfish themselves are vulnerable to a variety of large reef predators like grouper, snapper, jacks, and sharks.
Scuba Diver & Snorkeler Best Practices
Refrain from feeding marine life. Coral reef organisms should never be fed. Although this may seem like a harmless practice that allows you to get close to your favourite organisms, it actually disturbs normal feeding patterns and diets. Scientists have documented turtles being fed bread, dog food and even cheese—none of these foods are found naturally in the marine environment, and they can cause untold stress to the organisms that consume them. Conditioning wild animals to become comfortable with hand-feeding by humans alters their behaviour and makes them more vulnerable to capture, which directly affect their survival—this is particularly a concern for endangered sea turtles.