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Updated 9/21/2014

Family Holocentridae

Squirrelfishes & Soldierfishes

Nocturnal fishes that hide in dark areas during the day, emerging at night to feed upon large zooplankton and small fish.  They have large serrated scales (unlike Bigeyes) and sharp venomous fin and head spines capable of delivering painful wounds if handled, and are capable of making a grunting sound.  Larger species are popular food fishes as their delicate white flesh has a high fat content.  Soldierfishes, which are mostly red with big eyes and oval in shape, are known in Hawai'i as Menpachi or Mempachi.  Squirrelfishes are thinner with a pointed snout and horizontal stripes.  Many species are difficult to distinguish at first glance.

 

Hawaii's common Myripristis, L to R:

M. berndti, M. kuntee, M. amaena

 

 

HAWAII

Myripristis amaena

BRICK SOLDIERFISH

 

Myripristis berndti

 BIGSCALE SOLDIERFISH

Myripristis murdjan

BLOTCHEYE SOLDIERFISH

 

Myripristis chryseres

YELLOWFIN SOLDIERFISH

 

Myripristis kuntee

PEARLY SOLDIERFISH

 

Myripristis vittata

WHITETIP SOLDIERFISH

 

Plectrypops lima

ROUGH-SCALE SOLDIERFISH

 

Pristilepis oligolepis

WHITE-SCALE SQUIRRELFISH

 

Sargocentron spiniferum

LONGJAW SQUIRRELFISH

 

Sargocentron tiere

BLUESTRIPE SQUIRRELFISH

 

 

Sargocentron diadema

CROWN SQUIRRELFISH

 

Sargocentron xantherythrumendemic.gif (1686 bytes)

HAWAIIAN SQUIRRELFISH

 

Sargocentron punctatissimum

PEPPERED SQUIRRELFISH

 

Neoniphon sammara

SPOTFIN SQUIRRELFISH

 

Neoniphon aurolineatus

GOLDLINE SQUIRRELFISH

 


INDO-PACIFIC

Neoniphon argenteus

CLEARFIN SQUIRRELFISH

Neoniphon opercularis

BLACKFIN SQUIRRELFISH

 

Sargocentron caudimaculatum

TAILSPOT SQUIRRELFISH

 

Sargocentron microstoma

SMALLMOUTH SQUIRRELFISH

Ostichthys kaianus

DEEPWATER SOLDIERFISH

 

Myripristis violacea

LATTICE SOLDIERFISH

 


TROPICAL EASTERN PACIFIC

Myripristis leiognathus

PANAMIC SOLDIERFISH

 


TROPICAL WESTERN ATLANTIC

Holocentrus adscensionis

SQUIRRELFISH

Holocentrus rufus

LONGSPINE SQUIRRELFISH

 

Neoniphon marianus

LONGJAW SQUIRRELFISH

 

Sargocentron vexillarium

DUSKY SQUIRRELFISH

 

Myripristis jacobus

BLACKBAR SOLDIERFISH