Trumpetfish, Aulostomus maculatus, are long bodied fish that often swim vertically while trying to blend with vertical coral, like sea rods, sea pens, and pipe sponges.
Trumpetfish occur in waters between 9.84 – 98.42 ft (3 -3 0 m) deep. They are sometimes locally abundant over coral atoll reefs or in lagoons, where they may be caught even in areas of severe wave action. The spawning habits of the Trumpetfish are unknown, but in the region around Madeira, it is known that the females have mature eggs from March to June.
Trumpetfish are closely related to Cornetfish. Trumpetfish are less than 2 ft (60 cm) long and have greatly elongated bodies with small jaws at the front end of a long, tubular snout. The gills are pectinate, resembling the teeth of a comb, and a soft dorsal fin is found near the tail fin. A series of spines occurs in front of the dorsal fin. Trumpetfish vary in color from dark brown to greenish but also yellow in some areas. A black streak, sometimes reduced to a dark spot, occurs along the jaw, and a pair of dark spots is sometimes found on the base of the tail fin.
Trumpetfish swim slowly, sneaking up on unsuspecting prey, or lie motionless like a floating stick, swaying back and forth with the wave action of the water. They are adept at camouflaging themselves and often swim in alignment with other larger fishes. They feed almost exclusively on small cardinal fishes, such as wrasses and silversides.