Scribbled Filefish Koh Tao


Learn about the Scribbled Filefish on Koh Tao

Scribbled Filefish around Koh Tao often attract a lot of attention underwater by photographers and you can see why.

Also known as the Scrawled Filefish they are a very alien-like looking fish and they are very popular with scuba divers.

Mysterious Scribbled Filefish: A Koh Tao Underwater Marvel |

Where to find the Scribbled Filefish on Koh Tao

Scribbled filefish can be seen at many of the shallow dive sites around Koh Tao with White Rock being one of the most common locations.

If you are snorkeling around Koh Tao then you can visit Aow Leuk or Mango Bay for your best chance to see them along the coastline.

How to identify the Scribbled Filefish

Scribbled Filefish are marine animals that are well known for their ability to rapidly change color to suit the environment they are in.

However, the good news is no matter what colour they change to, they are still one of the most noticeable fish on Koh Tao.

Scribbled Filefish Koh Tao
Scribbled File fish Koh Tao

Colorful Scribbled Filefish

The scales of the Scribbled Filefish are very rough and their body is compressed making them very slender, hence their name filefish.

Their body is quite long and tapers towards the end with a large tail that is furled and it is often called the broom tail filefish due to its resemblance.

Scribbled Filefish have a mouth that is very small and their lips are slightly upturned, which makes it easier for them to pluck at sponges or smaller prey out of the sand.

Scribbled Filefish Characteristics & Behaviour

Scribbled Filefish colors range from various shades of brown and yellow and the remainder of their body is made up of random spots and squiggly lines, which can be an illuminous blue to a dark brown colour.

Scribbled Filefish have a varied diet consisting of various algae, tunicates, anemones and their favourite are jellyfish.

Scribbled Filefish feed during the daytime and at night and they can be seen slowly swimming in a head-down vertical position due to the angle of their mouth.

Scribbled Filefish - Marine Life
Scribbled Filefish – Marine Life

Interesting Facts about the Scribbled Filefish

This particular Filefish is the largest in its family and it is surprisingly very closely related to the Trigger fish.

If you can get close enough to a Scribbled Filefish, you will notice they still have a trigger spine above their head that can be locked in place.

They also have a second trigger fin below their jaw bone and use these fins to lock themselves into cracks or a crevice whilst sleeping at night or the jaws of their predators who are trying to eat them.

Due to their vibrant colors, they are often prone to being caught by humans and sold for aquatic hobbyists however, they do not survive well in captivity.

Scribbled Filefish Koh Tao Marine Life
Scribbled Filefish Koh Tao Marine Life