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Species: Holocentrus rufus, Longspine Squirrelfish

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spiny D red + white spot after each spine

Holocentrus rufus (Walbaum, 1792)

Longspine Squirrelfish

Body oblong, slender, compressed; head pointed; eyes large; bones on head serrated and spiny; mouth large, at front; lower gill rakers 15-18; preopercle with an angular corner bearing a large, long spine; a large spine at top corner of operculum; XI dorsal spines, 14-16 rays, no gap after last spine, front soft rays elongated; anal fin III-IV, 10; pelvics I, 7; tail base long and slender; tail fin deeply forked, with pointed tips, upper lobe distinctly longer than lower lobe; body scales very spiny; 51-54 (50-57) pored lateral line scales.

Head and body red; tail base and tail fin yellowish white; spiny dorsal reddish, with a prominent white triangular blotch behind each spine tip; soft dorsal, anal, pelvic and pectoral fins reddish.

Reaches 44 cm.

Reef habitats.

Depth range: 1-330 m.

N Carolina to the S Caribbean, also in Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 44
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 330