photos: Susan O'Shaughnessy

Cymolutes praetextatus (Quoy & Gaimard, 1834)
   Because of its similarity to the common Hawaiian Knifefish, this species went unrecognized in the Hawaiian Islands until 2005. It differs from the latter by having faint gray or brown bars on the rear half of the body and a faint brownish or salmon-pink stripe along the upper back. Males have a light-edged black spot high on the side. Females smaller than about 3 in. have a black spot above the base of the tail fin (pictured here). To about 8 in. Indo-Pacific. Photos taken on Maui by Susan O'Shaughnessy.

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Text and photos copyright by John P. Hoover