We don’t want to toot our horn, but we see lots of Trumpet Fish on our snorkeling adventures. So many, that at ABC Snorkel Charters Port Douglas, we have named one of our sites “Trumpet” after this fish.
Trumpet Fish (Aulostomus maculates) can reach up to 80 centimetres in length. They have an elongated body with a tubular snout. The upper jaw lacks teeth, while the lower jaw possesses small teeth. Under their chin is a short barbel and at their back, a row of spines that they raise in defense. Positioned far back on the body are transparent dorsal and anal fins, that allow them to hover close to coral, hang motionless under table corals, or hide vertically like a stick within soft corals. Sometimes, they “hitch a ride” atop a coral grouper or parrot fish to mask their approach when hunting prey, which are driven from their hiding spot when the fish feed upon seaweed. They are also able to change colours for camouflage and to ambush prey. When ready to attack, Trumpet Fish dart forward, expanding their jaw. The rapid opening of their mouth creates a sucking force, allowing them to capture their prey.
This fish is potentially one of the stealthiest on the Reef.
© ABC Snorkel Charters 2021