Fiji Bicolor Foxface
General: The bicolor foxface (Siganus uspi, Gawel & Woodland, 1974) is a unique rabbitfish that is easily kept and beautiful to look at. These fish are endemic to Fiji and because of their limited natural habitat are fairly rare in the marine aquarium trade. The bicolor foxface is an excellent choice for any marine aquarist with an aquarium large enough to house it. Rabbitfish as a whole are very hardy in captivity, transitioning quickly to prepared foods and resistant to common aquarium infections. The bicolor foxface is omnivorous but requires large amounts of algae-based food in its diet. It is quite active, spending the day swimming about its tank grazing on algae. Due to its larger size and grazing behavior, it requires a fairly large system with live rock on which to forage. At the Sustainable Islands project, we feed these fish our hatchery diet, which they love, as well as spirulina brine, mysis, and nori twice daily. Aquarists will find these fish are voracious eaters. Their active behavior may become the highlight of feeding time.
Physical Description:The Fiji bicolor foxface has unique coloration compared to other foxface rabbitfish species. The front two thirds are a dark brown to black, while the back one third is bright yellow. The bright yellow pectoral fins and white stripe through the face add a beautiful contrast to the mostly dark fish. When stressed or startled, they will quickly change their coloration to become very dark with a splotched pattern to disguise themselves. The dorsal spines of the bicolor foxface are venomous, so care must be taken when handling this fish or working in their tank.
Temperament: The bicolor foxface is quite easygoing and compatible with most other marine ornamental fish. They are rarely aggressive, except with other rabbitfish, and will not bully smaller tankmates, though they might out-compete them for food. Their venomous spines ensure that they are seldom picked-on by more aggressive fish. These fish are generally considered reef safe, but if underfed they can potentially nip at coral polyps.
Size- These fish reach a relatively large size of 9-10 inches. Because of this, and their active grazing behavior, they generally require a lot of swimming space in 75 gallon or larger aquariums.
Distribution: The bicolor foxface is commonly referred to as the Fiji Foxface because it is solely found and collected in Fiji.