The Atlantic Trumpetfish seems to be one of those rare creatures that seem to be capable of (according to many humorous-minded Ichthyologists) tooting its own horn.
This interesting ocean creature was first described by scientists in 1841. The name comes from the Greek word for mouth.
The species remains popular for both its intelligence and its utilization of an elaborate courtship dance during mating season.
It appears to be harmless to humans (if only the reverse was true). Their numbers seem to be declining, largely due to their unfortunate popularity in home aquariums. However, the IUCN does not yet list them as Threatened.
Atlantic Trumpetfish Physical Characteristics
The Atlantic Trumpetfish possesses a rather highly elongated body shape. The snout is even more elongated, ending in a small, trumpet-like (the source of the common name) mouth.
Amazingly, the species is also capable of changing its colors at will, providing it with excellent camouflage. Their primary coloring is a brown base, with brown or black patches.
The Atlantic Trumpetfish averages a total length of approximately 24 in (61 cm) but may reach even 36 in (91 cm). The long head uniquely comprises about one-third of its entire length.
Its teeth are small and are oddly only present in the lower jaw.
Atlantic Trumpetfish Distribution and Ecology
The Atlantic Trumpetfish is endemic to a select portion of the Atlantic Ocean. This range extends from the coastal regions of Florida, in the United States, to Bermuda, and south to the northern coast of South America.
It most commonly lives in or near areas of coral reef. Further, it generally inhabits shallow regions, at depths between 7 to 82 ft (2-25 m).
They prey upon a variety of small fish, which they literally draw into their mouths via a strong suction generated by their snout.
Their cleverness displays itself in their habits of hiding behind larger fish to wait for prey, and swimming with their snouts pointed down, and drifting with the currents, appearing as random flotsam.