A fish with a dorsal spine and rough scales, related to the triggerfishes and occurring in tropical and sometimes temperate seas.
Numerous genera and species, family Balistidae (or Monacanthidae)‘Sponges constituted the majority of stomach contents of angelfishes and the filefish.’
- ‘Every sort of reef fish competed for meals, the oddest being the boxfish, trunkfish and filefish, all trying to feed through pursed lips.’
- ‘Scrawled filefish seem enormous and, of course, the ubiquitous titan and the inappropriately named yellowmargin triggerfish are active everywhere.’
- ‘The grass provides protection from predators, like the parrotfish and filefish that would cruise by.’
- ‘It's simple to get close to animals like scrawled filefish and spiny puffers which prove too timid to approach in the daytime.’
Late 18th century from file (because of its rough skin, suggesting the surface of a file).