Other names for the cornetfish from the Fistulariidae family are the flutefish or the trumpetfish. Its greenish to grey body is what is called ‘elongate’ and cylindrical, meaning stretched and long. The snout is exceptionally long, ending in a tiny mouth. The cornetfish is perfectly built to dig and poke in corals in order to find small fish and crustaceans. It isn’t uncommon for 'Fistulariidaerans'  to roam in large congregations, navigating near coral reefs, sand flats and occasionally in the open sea. It digs and pokes in madrepores and corals, searching for food such as tiny fish and crustaceans.

The quite similar needlefish belongs to the Belonidae family, taking its name from ‘ belon’, as in a needle. The needle alludes to the genuinely razorsharp parts of its fearsome dentition. The slender body of the needlefish from the Belonidae is an almost spitting image of the physique of the members of the cornetfish from the Fistulariidae dynasty.

When the sun reflects on the water surface, it creates a ‘blinding’ effect. This is exactly why the needlefish feels comfortable at the surface, camouflaged as it is when harassing smaller fish. As a matter of fact, it ‘surfs’ the current, protected by the impact of sun rays. When a needlefish senses danger, it doesn’t hesitate to jump out of the water in order to protect itself.

 Family Members


Size up to 150 cm (4,9ft).  Depth up to 100m (328ft)

The very slender and elongate body of the reef cornetfish, also known as the flutemouth or trumpetfish, is characteristic for the family members; sometimes referred to as the blue spotted cornetfish.

The cornetfish comes in a colour mixture of olive green and silvery, decorated with two thin blue stripes or lines of dots. It can change this bi-colour for camouflaging purposes and in response to environmental changes. Its activity isn't restricted to the day only.

The cornetfish lives in habitats rich in hard corals; from the surface to bottoms at a depth of 100 meters. It feeds on small fish, crustaceans and tiny sorts of octopus, swallowing them as a whole. It does this singly or in smaller groups.

Red Sea Needlefish

Size up to 120 cm (3,93ft).  Depth up to 5m (16ft)

Mortal dentition would probably be the best way to typify the set of extremely sharp teeth the Red Sea needlefish is equipped with. Their long and pointed jaws are just awesome. The diurnal needlefish has what are called deciduous scales, meaning they come off easily and rapidly when touched. The needlefish is capable of piercing or spearheading other fish like a knife through frozen butter. It measures up to 120 cm, roaming very shallow semi-pelagic waters or shallow coralline bottoms up to only 5 meters in depth. The needlefish is green dorsally and silvery ventrally, making it very hard to detect against the reflection of the sun. One could say they are protectively coloured for blending purposes.