|Synonyms||Amphacanthus vulpinus, Lo vulpinus, Teuthis tubulosa, T. vulpina, T. vulpinus|
|Maximum Size||24cm (9.4")|
|Temperature||Tropical: 23-27 deg C (73-81 deg F)|
|Water Parameters||SG: 1.020-1.025, pH: 8.1-8.4|
|Compatibility||Reef with caution|
|Lighting||Prefers dimly lit areas, so be sure to provide plenty of shady overhangs and crevices if your lighting is very bright.|
|Reef Aquarium Compatibility||Caution advised - generally reef safe, although occasional specimens may nip at large-polyped corals and certain soft corals if underfed. Will browse on desirable and undesirable algae.|
The Foxface is known from the coral-rich areas of lagoons and seaward reefs, to depths of 30m (98ft). Juvenile fish form large aggregations amongst Acropora corals, where they may be observed feeding on algae growing from the dead bases of the corals, whereas the adults are rather more territorial and tend to occur singly or in pairs. This somewhat shy species is a member of the venomous rabbitfish family, and is very similar in appearance to the One-Spot Fox Face (S. unimaculatus) but lacks the large dark spot on the posterior of each flank. You may often see juveniles kept together in large shoals without problems in your local aquatics store, but be aware that as the fish mature, they become intolerant of their own kind within the confines of the aquarium and should be kept singly, with the exception of a bonded male-female pair. Unrelated fish species will be ignored, most giving the Foxface a wide berth because of the venomous spines on their dorsal and anal fins. Needless to say, this is a fish that must be handled with much care when catching and acclimatising; ideally it should be gently herded into a submerged fish-bag or solid container, rather than risk using a net to lift it from the water. The fish is likely to erect its fins, entangling the sturdy spines in the netting, and at the same time there is the chance of the aquarist receiving a very painful sting. The tank itself should offer plenty of dark hiding places amongst rockwork, and employ decent filtration and circulation. If adding this species to a reef aquarium, be aware that occasional specimens do have a taste for coral polyps, particularly those that are hungry, so be sure to observe carefully and ensure the fish is receiving enough food. The Foxface has a small mouth that is specially adapted for browsing on algae (the main constituent of its diet). They must receive regular offerings of greenfoods in their diet, otherwise their colours will fade and their health may suffer. Meaty foods can be offered, and indeed will be accepted, but it is very important that rabbitfish receive a decent amount of algae-based foodstuffs as part of their daily nourishment. This species is capable of changing colour to a blotchy ‘fright pattern’ at the blink of an eye. This can be due to a sudden shock (e.g. someone coming into the room where the aquarium is situated), an altercation with another fish, lights coming on too suddenly etc. Ideally the tank should be situated away from areas of high foot traffic. These fish also adopt the same blotchy pattern when resting at night. *If you are accidentally stung by your Foxface, it is best to seek medical advice immediately.*
Offer a varied diet that consists mainly of vegetable matter e.g. frozen foods containing Spirulina, plus marine algae, Nori (dried seaweed) and green marine flake food. Will accept small meaty foods such as Mysis shrimp, vitamin/Spirulina enriched brineshrimp, finely chopped krill etc, but this should be as a supplement to the predominantly herbivorous diet. A mature tank with a healthy growth of algae on the rockwork is immensely helpful in providing the Foxface with natural grazing opportunities.
Unreported in the home aquarium.