Fusilier Fish Facts and Information

Taxonomy [Perciformes] [Phylum: Chordata] [Class: Actinopterygii] [Family: Caesionidae]

Fusiliers are not a fish army but it they often resemble a squadron of cylindrical fishes because they school in spectacularly large numbers.

Fusilier fishes are streamlined Perciformes related to snappers but unlike the snapper fusiliers do not feed on larger prey.

Instead they use their extensible upper jaws to feed on plankton in the Indo-Pacific regions. They have been seen as big as 60 cm in length but adults typically grow to 40 cm.

Yellowtail Fusilier [Caesionidae]

The yellowtail is also known as the redbelly or robust fusilier. The species is widespread in areas of the Asia Pacific.

Fusilier fishes are related to the snapper species but are in fact at 50 cm in length they are noticeably smaller and slender.

They school in large numbers around silt reefs predominantly at the crest of steep slopes feeding on zooplankton down to 30 meters deep.

Their colour permeates from their usual yellow and blue to red and green when they are inactive at night time.

Yellow and Blueblack Fusilier [Caesio teres]

Yellow and Blueback Fusiliers belong to the Lutjanidae family and are found in coral reef or lagoon habitats of Indo-Pacific and GBR regions.

Fusilier FishesThey assemble extensively in large schools at varying depths of five to fifty meters.

The fish has a white belly and dazzling petrol blue coloring above its underside. The upper back section from the beginning of its dorsal fin running through to its tail is intense yellow.

In contrast, most of their fins are white and they have a distinctive black patch around the joint of their pectoral fins.

Fusiliers vary in size but adult yellow and bluebacks usually reach 40 cm in length. They feed on zooplankton hovering above the reef in large schools. They are oviparous egg layers at breeding time.

The female lays innumerable tiny pelagic eggs timing the spawning to coincide with outgoing tides.

Goldband Fusilier [Pterocaesio chrysozona]

Many people know goldband fusiliers as the blacktipped fusilier. They are widespread in the Red Sea and Indo-Pacific regions. They exhibit non-migratory behavior and are mainly found in schools around coral reefs and deep lagoons.

They are commonly found at depths from 5 - 30 meters during the day time but they return to the reef at night for shelter. They display a yellow stripe on both sides, a white-pink belly, and their dorsal area is blue-brown. They filter feed on zooplankton and they are oviparous fast breeders.

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