Related Articles: Squirrelfishes, Soldierfishes, Family
Indonesia Long Version, Short Version, Algae & Plants,
Related FAQs: Squirrelfishes, Soldierfishes, Pineconefishes, Indonesian Biotopes,
Indonesia Underwater: Squirrel,
Soldier Fishes and the Pineconefish
Bob Fenner, WetWebMedia.com
Squirrelfishes, Family Holocentridae, Flashlight
or Lanterneye Fishes, Family Anomalopidae, five genera, six species,
one in Indo., and the bizarre deep-water Pineconefishes, Family
Monocentridae: are members of an Order of fishes, Beryciformes. You
may know the holocentrid-related families from their possession of
bacteria-source light organs beneath their eyes.
Squirrels and Soldiers: (31 here), reclusive for
the most part, skulking and coming out to see who, what's there
under rocks, large coral colonies and over hangs.
|Myripristis berndti Jordan
& Evermann 1903, the Blotcheye Soldierfish. Indo-Pacific,
including eastern Pacific in distribution. Most easily told apart
from similar-appearing species by its yellow spiny dorsal fin. To
one foot maximum length.
Valenciennes 1831, Shoulder-bar Soldierfish. Indo-Pacific; East
Africa to Hawai'i. Two to 55 meters. To eight inches total
length. Reef-associated. Leading part of spiny dorsal fin
yellowish. One off of Queensland, Australia, another off
Hawa'i's Big Island.
|Myripristis vittata Valenciennes 1831, the
Whitetip Soldierfish. Indo-Pacific. To ten inches long. Another
under-utilized species available in good numbers. Like most
Soldierfishes, feeds on plankton at night. Maldives and QLD,
|Neoniphon opercularis (Valenciennes 1831),
the Black Squirrelfish, distinguished by the continuous hard dorsal
being black in color. Indo-Pacific, east Africa to Micronesia.
Fourteen inches maximum length. This one in the Maldives.
|Neoniphon sammara (Forsskal 1775), the
Sammara Soldierfish. Indo-Pacific, Red Sea to the Hawaiian Islands.
To about a foot long. An occasional import. The first one in
Hawaii, then the Cooks, last in the Red Sea.
|Sargocentron caudimaculatum (Ruppell 1838),
the White-tail Squirrelfish. Indo-Pacific; Red Sea to Polynesia. To
ten inches in length. Live in and about caves, crannies in groups
by day, turning all red and spreading over the reef to feed by
night. N. & S. Sulawesi pix.
|Sargocentron diadema Lacepede 1802, the
Crown Squirrelfish. Indo-Pacific, Red Sea to Hawai'i. To nine
inches in length. The most common Pacific offering in the family.
Very similar to Sargocentron xantheryhthrum, but diadema has a very
dark dorsal fine with a white stripe in its lower area,
xantherythrum with a red dorsal with white spine tips.
|Sargocentron rubrum (Forsskal 1775), the
Redcoat. Indo-West Pacific, including the Red Sea. To eleven inches
in length. These ones off of Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef,
|Sargocentron spiniferum (Forsskal 1775), the
Sabre Squirrelfish. A beauty, but often lost to trauma in capture
and shipping and too large for most systems (to eighteen inches in
length). The first image made in the Maldives, the second in the
Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea.
The lone Pineconefish species in Indonesia: (1
|Monocentrus japonicus (Houttuyn 1782), the
Pinconefish. To 17 cm. Indo-West Pacific; Red Sea, South Africa to
Southern Japan, New Zealand. Found under ledges, in caves at depths
of 20 to 200 meters (Fishbase). Aquarium photo.