Some call him FoxFace... others: Rabbit fish... he was previously referred to as Lo... But the problem with popular names is that they are extremely variable from town to country... After a while, especially if you deal with numerous species, the confusion becomes annoying. So we adopted a philosohy :) here at SBMarine. We will always use the most recent scientific name available or the most utilized since they too have a tendency to be reclassified...
AEGIS is a Siganus Vulpinus (with Black Markings)... I know there is already scientific confusion about one or two distinct species... In my personal opinion I consider it to be a local variation. So until some autopsy, dorsal ray count and DNA sampling says otherwise: it will remain a Siganus Vulpinus with Black Markings, with us !! Does everyone feel comfortable with this ??
(on that blurred picture up there)
He's happy to be a Survivor !! And he is zooming from one feeding area to another... at lightning speed: because he just can't seem to get his fill. Have a closer look at the photographs below... :) you'll get the picture.
Area 1: Rhodactis Anemones & Blue Mussels
AEGIS was picked up as a juvenile, december 1 2013, and he grew up with Giant Rhodactis and Quadricolor Anemones. Many fish are opportunistic feeders as far as Anemones are concerned and AEGIS was no exception !! Rhodactis close upon feeding and look like balloons while digesting: so the fish have to stick around from 10 to 45 minutes to steal the leftovers... However Giant Symbiotic Anemones grasp the food with their tentacles so the fish won't hesitate at stealing their meal away. Aegis is an expert at this and the Premnas didn't oppose his intrusion. So that's why there are so many Blue Mussels piled up here :) Keeping him busy in Area 1 gave Rose and Demi sufficient time to gobble up... well, most of the time. Mussels and Oysters are suited to feeding so-called Algae Eaters since they are filter feeders. Their stomachs are filled with Phytoplankton which is quite nutritious. If you look closely at the mussels it will give you an idea of the size of these Rhodactis. When properly maintained and hand-fed they reach their maximimum adult size of 12 inches in only one year !!! Spectacular !!
Area 2: Rose & Demi, Entacmea Quadricolor
December 1st 2013: AEGIS goes in an Emergency Tank
But AEGIS's life was not always peaches & cream... He is a perfect example of what goes on in the Bad Side of the Aquaria Trade. Long collecting and shipping routes, no feeding, terrible maintenance conditions, etc...
Look carefully at his abdomen protruding from his compressed and flattened body (barely no muscle tissue). This is why unscrupulous Distributors and LFS never feed their fish: so the consumer does not notice. An unknowing person would assume that the fish is a flat bodied species... So AEGIS was immediately placed with Spiny Venomous Friends, just like him, in a sea of GREEN. He had actively devoured the GHA during 48 hours when the picture was taken !! He was also treated to a large mussel all to himself !!
AEGIS: four months later...
Not so flat after all !!! His abdomen does not protrude any more but shows that he has passed the rachitic state and is now a well constituded Siganus Vulpinus. And he's my best friend too :)
DANGER - BEWARE - CAUTION
24 excruciatingly painful sources of neurotoxic venom
Same as the Scorpion Fish: Siganus Vulpinus packs a powerful punch that you will never forget... I personally garantee it !!! Picture was taken several days after AEGIS was placed in the tank... He was very crancky and wouldn't tolerate anyone or anything coming even close to his new feeding ground... So he paraded constantly. By the way Siganus are lightning fast and will easily jump out a tank if it is not covered with glass (most fish will, to your dismay): even in normal conditions since they are a rather delicate species regarding trust. This species requires a calm environment and Mature, Adult and Responsible caretakers... In my humble opinion it is not suited at all for a Family Tank with young children around...
Where is AEGIS now ?
In the AEGIS tank of course... Picture was taken yesterday (april 15 2016). And he is affectionately taking care of his new Rhodactis Anemones.. but in my opinion he'll need a new friend to help him with keeping the estate trimmed.... It is a relatively large tank after all... :)