Filefish (Monacanthidae) are members of the order Tetraodontiformes, a group of fish which also includes sunfish, triggerfish, boxfish, and pufferfish. I am immensely fond of these sorts of fish because of their personality and appearance. Today we are going to look at a genus of filefish, the Pervagor, which are remarkable for their beautiful colors. Pervagor filefish are native to the Indian and Pacific oceans, where they live in shallow coastal waters and reefs. Like other filefish they feed on small invertebrates and other little animals which they catch. They evade predators with somewhat armor-like skeletons and with a pop-up spike on the top of their body (which they can use to wedge themselves into crevices—or simply to prevent being easily swallowed. I am writing about them not because of their remarkable lives (indeed I fave found it hard to find out many details about them) but because of their beautiful appearance. Each species is like a little piece of jewelry or a brilliant abstract painting. They are exactly what we need to get through the start of this week!
Just look at ’em! Evolution is such a mad artist that one is never disappointed by its never-ending improvisations, its dazzling palette, and obsessive use of form!