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Squirrelfishes and Soldierfishes

These fishes are commonly found under ledges and in caves, and at night.  Their bright red coloration looks dark at depth, where all the red has been filtered out of the sunlight.


Bluestripe Squirrelfish

Sargocentron tiere

(1: First Cathedral, Lanai / 2: Tortugas, Kauai)

Crown Squirrelfish

Sargocentron diadema

(1: Shark Fin, Lanai / 2: Menpachi Caves, Lanai

Crown squirrelfish have black on their dorsal fins; Hawaiian squirrelfish don't.

Hawaiian Squirrelfish

Sargocentron xantherythrum

(1-2: Shark Fin, Lanai / 3-4: Three Fingers, Kauai / 5: Mario World, Oahu / 6: Koko Craters, Oahu / 7: Amber's Arches, Kauai)

Longjaw Squirrelfish

Sargocentron spiniferum

(1: Inner Crater, Molokini / 2: Second Cathedral, Lanai)

In the second photo, it's the larger red fish.

Spotfin Squirrelfish

Neoniphon sammara

(1: Pawai, Kona / 2-3,5: Garden Eel Cove, Kona / 4: Pentagon, Kona / 6: Dog Beach, Kona)


Bigscale Soldierfish

Myripristis berndti

(1: Shark Fin, Lanai / 2: Menpachi Caves, Lanai / 3: Kaloko Arches, Kona / 4: Brennecke's Ledge, Kauai / 5: Garden Eel Cove, Kona / 6: Camp One, Kauai / 7: Dog Beach, Kona)

In the 5th picture, the lower fish is a pearly soldierfish; note the shorter jaw and finer scales compared to the bigscale soldierfish.

Brick Soldierfish

Myripristis amaena

(1: First Cathedral, Lanai / 2: Pentagon, Kona)

Brick soldierfish have all red tailfins (no white). Note that the middle fish in the 1st photo is a pearly soldierfish; it's common to find multiple soldierfish species hanging out together.  Similarly, the 2nd photo has a brick soldierfish in the middle, surrounded by pearly soldierfish.

Pearly Soldierfish

Myripristis kuntee

(1: Reef's End, Molokini / 2-5: Garden Eel Cove, Kona / 6: Corsair, Oahu / 7: Dog Beach, Kona / 8: Turtle Heaven, Kona)

Yellowfin Soldierfish

Myripristis chryseres

(1: No-Name Paradise, Lanai)