Aluterus scriptus

Scribbled leatherjacket | Broomtail Filefish | Scrawled Filefish | Scrawled Leatherjacket | Scribbled Filefish | Tobaccofish
Aluterus scriptus
Aluterus scriptus, male, Bali, Indonesia, Photo: Ian Shaw
Aluterus scriptus
Aluterus scriptus, adult, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Aluterus scriptus
Aluterus scriptus, male, North Solitary Island
Aluterus scriptus
Aluterus scriptus, Malpelo Island, Colombia, Photo: Graham Edgar
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Aluterus scriptus
Aluterus scriptus
Aluterus scriptus
Aluterus scriptus


Mediterranean, Temperate Africa, Temperate Australasia, Temperate South America, Temperate northern Atlantic, Temperate northern Pacific, Tropical Atlantic/Caribbean, Tropical Indo-Pacific


Body shape and markings distinctive. Yellow-brown body covered with blue scribbles and black spots, long slender dorsal spine, and expandable tail fan, that in males is 2/3 length of body.


Max Size: 110 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 20.6-31.6°C

Depth: 3-20m

Habitat Generalization Index: 4.47

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Not Evaluated

Occurrence: Infrequent (3.1% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Solitary (1 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.

Edit by: extract from RD Stuart-Smith, GJ Edgar, AJ Green, IV Shaw. 2015. Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland