© Johan Boshoff


Rabbitfish (Siganidae)




Rabbitfish measure 30cm on average, but can be as long as 40cm.


Rabbitfish have oval-shaped bodies flattened on both sides. Its small mouth is slightly elongated making its lips look puckered. Its dorsal fin is continuous with spines at the same height, and the caudal fin is forked. These fish are predominantly white and yellow, marked with brown spots or a varied brown colour.

General Info

Rabbitfish belong to the Siganidae family which comprises of two genera and 27 species. They can be found over reefs in shallow water, living in pairs or in schools. Using their teeth, they scrape algae from rocks. These fish change in colour in order to camouflage and are active during daytime. They are pelagic spawners with poisonous spines. The name ‘rabbitfish’ derives from the similarities in the nose of this fish and a rabbit.


Rabbitfish are herbivorous and feed on benthic algae.


They can be found in the Indo-Pacific and Mediterranean Oceans.

Common Species

Coral rabbitfish (Siganus corallinus)
Foxface rabbitfish (Siganus vulpinus)
Whitespotted rabbitfish (Siganus sutor)

© Johan Boshoff