By Bob Goemans
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Pineapple/Pinecone Fishes

 Monocentrus japonicus (Japanese Pinecone Fish)

Monocentrus japonicus
(Houttuyn, 1782)

Japanese Pinecone Fish

Not Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable


These fishes belong in the Order Beryciformes and Suborder Trachichthyoidei as members of the Family Monocentridae (Pineapple or Pinecone Fishes) consisting of 2 genera, and 3 species.

These non-aggressive fishes are nocturnal and feed by attracting prey with a light organ that activates symbiotic phosphorescent bacteria. These organs are conveniently located on each side of the lower jaw. During the day, they are found in caves and venture out during the evening hours in search of food, usually small fish and shrimp. They are found in a broad range of depths, from shallow estuaries to depths over 600 feet. Their body is covered with strong plate-like scales and has spines in the dorsal and ventral fins that can be locked in an outward position when needed. Feedings should occur during evening hours. For in-depth information concerning these fishes, checkout Reef Fishes Volume 1 by Scott Michael (ISBN #1-890087-21-1). You can see a review of this exquisite book by visiting my Product & Book Reviews page.

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