21 photos - 4 species

Category Soldierfishes


 There are 5 genera and almost 50 species.

Soldierfish are nocturnal plankton feeders.

During the day they spend most of their time apparently loitering aimlessly around the reef, often in schools and under overhangs.

Myripristis botche

Blacktip soldierfish or Splendid soldierfish

 Maximum length: 20 cm

Depth: 15 - 65 m

A species that lives quite deep, often under 30 metres.

Rarely outside of protective caves and overhangs.

Photo 1 Johnny: Embudu Maldives

Myripristis jacobus

Blackbar soldierfish

 Maximum length: 21 cm

Depth: 5 - 20 m

Black transverse band behind the head.

Red to silvery-red body with white markings on the tips and at the base of the dorsal fin.

All other fins with white outer edge.

Not shy, rather curious, often stares at divers from holes and crevices, you can approach carefully.

Photo 1 Astrid: Bonaire Caribbean

Photo 2 Johnny: Bonaire Caribbean

Myripristis murdjan

Pinecone soldierfish

Maximum length: 25 cm

Depth: 2 - 37 m

Bright white fin edges.

Hovers in caves or under slopes during the day.

Night hunter that returns to its hiding place about an hour before sunrise.

Sometimes seen in very large schools.

Photo 1 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt

Category Squirrelfishes


 There are 3 genera.

Hussar fish are nocturnal. They swim across the reef floor in search of crabs, shrimps and worms.

The fish have a poisonous sting on the gill cover.

Depending on the species, they grow to between 20 and 60 cm in length.

Holocentrus adscensionis


 Maximum length: 40 cm

Depth: 1 - 15 metres

The front part of their dorsal fin is yellowish in colour.

Its body is reddish with silvery stripes.

It is the largest of the hussar fish.

Not shy, allows close approach.

Photo 1 Astrid: Bonaire Caribbean

Holocentrus rufus

Longspine squirrelfish

 Maximum length: 32 cm

Depth: 1 - 35 m

The tips of the dorsal fin rays have a triangular pattern.

Reddish body with silvery stripes and spots.

Not shy, allows close approach.

Photo 1 Astrid: Bonaire Caribbean

Photos 2 -3 Johnny: Bonaire Caribbean

Neoniphon marianus

Longjaw squirrelfish

 Maximum length: 18 cm

Depth: 15 - 70 metres

Their body is silvery-red with orange-gold stripes,

their first dorsal fin has white tips and white spots at the base.

Its anal fin is unusually long.

Somewhat shy, withdraws into crevices or holes when approached.

Photo 1 Johnny: Bonaire Caribbean

Neoniphon opercularis

Blackfin squirrelfish, Mouth-fin squirrelfish or Clearfin squirrelfish

 Maximum length: 30 cm

Depth: 2 - 20 m

Easily recognisable by its beautiful dorsal fin.

Photo 1 Johnny: Embudu Maldives

Neoniphon sammara

Sammara squirrelfish, Blood-spot squirrelfish, Slender squirrelfish,

Spotfin squirrelfish, Armed squirrelfish or Javelin squirrelfish

Maximum length: 32 cm

Depth: 2 - 45 m

Inhabits sheltered lagoons and reef tops.

Night hunter, hunts crabs and small fish.

Photo 1 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt

Photo 2 Astrid: Hurghada Egypt

Neoniphon vexillarium

Dusky squirrelfish

 Maximum length 18 cm

Depth: 0 - 15 m

The caudal and anal fins have a brown-red to bright red edge.

Dark bronze-red, golden and longitudinal silver stripes on the body.

This shy species is not often seen, although it is common,

always hiding in niches and dark, sheltered areas.

Photo 1 Johnny: Bonaire Caribbean

Photo 2 Astrid: Bonaire Caribbean

Sargocentron caudimaculatum

Silverspot squirrelfish or Whitetail squirrelfish

Maximum length: 25 cm

Depth: 2 - 50 m

Red body with white tail.

Found in deep lagoons and on steep reef slopes.

Night hunter, hunts crabs and small fish

Photo 1 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt

Sargocentron coruscum

Reef squirrelfish

Maximum length: 9 - 14 cm

Depth: 1 - 25 m

First dorsal fin is black from the first to the third or fourth fin ray.

Hidden in small niches, difficult to find.

Very shy, difficult to approach.

Photo 1 Johnny: Bonaire Caribbean 

Sargocentron diadema

Crownned squirrelfish

 Maximum length: 17 cm

Depth: 2 - 60 m

Red body with white stripes.

Night hunter, hunts for snails and small crustaceans above the sandy bottom.

Not shy.

Photos 1 - 2 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt

Sargocentron spiniferum

Sabre squirrelfish, Giant squirrelfish or Spiny squirrelfish

 Maximum length: 45 cm

Depth: 2 - 120 metres

Regularly caught by night fishermen, the fishermen handle the fish

with due care because of the spine.

Photo 1 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt

Sargocentron violaceum

Violet squirrelfish

 Maximum length: 27 cm

Depth: 3 - 50 metres

Typical black spots near the tail.

Photo 1 Johnny: Moalboal Philippines