The Trumpetfish is an interesting resident of coral reef waters in the Pacific and Atlantic tropics. Trumpetfish have narrow tube-like bodies up to 3 feet long that run nearly imperceptibly into an elongated snout with a single barbel on the chin and a mouth that can open wider than the body diameter to resemble a trumpet bell. Trumpetfish range from brown and orangish to green, with pale stripes and bars, and white spots posteriorly. One variety is bright yellow, and all Trumpetfish can change color very quickly. Their hard, shell-like bodies are made of interwoven struts of bone. Trumpetfish are most easily recognized by their habit of hanging vertically or diagonally head-down with their coloration varied for camouflage among branching coral or near any vertical structure. A Trumpetfish can hover motionless then suddenly dart forward to open its mouth and suck in prey. Confident in their camouflage, Trumpetfish will often remain still to allow close approach and observation underwater.
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