Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Ostichthys trachypoma, Bigeye Soldierfish

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body oblong, deep
snout: central groove triangular
red & white stripes
no spines under eye
preoperculum slightly crescentic, no spines
A 10-12

Ostichthys trachypoma (Gunther, 1859)

Bigeye Soldierfish

Body oblong, deep; mouth large, oblique; snout blunt, forehead slightly concave; a broad triangular groove on center of snout; bones on head rough and spiny; eye very large; no spines on bone under eye or at crescent shaped corner of preopercle; opercle with one strong spine at top corner that extends from a horizontal ridge; 25-35 gill rakers; dorsal fin XI + I, 12-14, continuous but deeply notched between last 2 spines; anal with IV spines, 3rd spine stoutest and longest, 10-12 rays; pelvics I, 7; tail base narrow in center, expanded behind; tail forked, tips of lobes angular; scales large, front margins straight, angular corners, exposed parts rough and ridged, ridges form short flattened spines on scale edges; 29-30 lateral line scales.

Red, with indistinct white stripes along side; dorsal fin membrane dark red.

Reaches 22 cm.

Lives on hard bottoms, like other soldierfishes.

Depth range: 37-550 m, usually below 200 m.

New York to NE 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
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
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 N + S of GC
  • 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)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 22
Depth Range Min
  • 37
Depth Range Max
  • 550