• Anna Tattelman

Pinecone Fish: Pineapples of the Sea

Due to their distinctive markings and features, it is not a shock how Pinecone Fish, also known as Pineapple Fish, got their name. Pinecone fish belong to the Actinopterygii family of fish. Since their fins are supported by strong spines, this class is known as ray-finned fishes.


Appearance

Pinecone fish can reach a maximum size of 7 inches, but most are usually between 4 and 5 inches long. The scales of the pinecone fish are black-outlined and light yellow in colour. They also have a short tail and a black lower jaw. On both sides of their heads, Pinecone have a light-producing gland. These are called photophores, and they produce a symbiotic bacteria that allows light to be visible. The light comes from luminescent bacteria, and its intent is unknown. It may be used to enhance vision, locate food, or interact with other fish. Besides their unusual bright scaly body and light producing organs, Pinecone fish fins are quite unique. To begin with, the fish has two dorsal fins on its tail. The first is made up of four to seven stout spines that alternately point to the left and right. The second dorsal fin consists of nine to twelve soft rays. Pinecone fish also have a very powerful, large spine with two to four small, soft rays on its pelvic fin, which is the first fin on the fish's underside.



This is what a Pinecone fish looks like


Habitat

Pinecone fish can be found in the Indo-West Pacific Ocean, including the Red Sea, Indonesia, Southern Japan, New Zealand, and Australia, and the areas surrounding South Africa and Mauritius. Coral reefs, caves, and rocks are among their favorite environments. Pinecone fish are commonly found in depths ranging from 65 to 656 feet. Pinecone fish tend to travel in groups, so people often may see many of them swimming together.



Group of Pinecone fish


Diet

Live foods such as shrimp and small fish make up the Pinecone fish's diet.


Activities with Pinecone Fish

When scuba diving, the Pineapple Fish is a very common species to search for. Photographing them can be challenging due to their interest in hiding under rocks and caves. Many who enjoy the hobby of having an aquarium will enjoy this species of fish. According to some enthusiasts, the fish can live for up to ten years in a private aquarium.


Fun Facts about Pinecone Fish

  1. The fish's sharp scales shield them from predators such as octopuses and reef sharks.

  2. Because of their tiny fins and rigid armor, pineapple fish are slow swimmers.

  3. There are multiple names for Pinecone Fish such as Pineapple fish Knightfish.

  4. Pineapple fish have very short, slender teeth.

  5. The body of the Pinecone fish darkens in color as it grows older.

  6. Pinecone fish are not a threat to humans.



Sources:

https://www.thoughtco.com/pinecone-fish-profile-2291572

https://science.jrank.org/pages/5232/Pinecone-Fish.html

https://pineapplefish.weebly.com/facts--information.html

https://thewebsiteofeverything.com/animals/fish/Beryciformes/Monocentridae/Cleidopus-gloriamaris


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