Pinecone fish

The pinecone fish (Monocentris japonicus) is a species with a fruit-like appearance due to the characteristics of its scales.

Where to find them?

You can find them in the central aquarium of the Mysteries of the Sea exhibition of Oceanogràfic.

General aspects

The scales of the pinecone fish are not only decorative, having an important protective function; they are authentic shields with spines for facing any predator. Being so rigid, this species swims quite clumsily and slowly.

For this reason, it must have a strategy for hunting its prey. It therefore accommodates a lot of luminescent bacteria near its mouth that it can “turn on” and “turn off”, helping to attract the zooplankton on which it feeds.

Which region do they inhabit?

They generally inhabit the Indo-West Pacific, specifically in the area of the Red Sea, South Africa and Mauritius, the south of Japan, Sumatra, Australia and New Zealand.
Their depth does not exceed 200 metres.

Did you know...?

Due to the characteristics of their scales, they are sometimes known as knightfish or coat-of-mail fish.