Family: HOLOCENTRIDAE, Squirrelfishes, Soldierfishes
A IV, 3rd v large
Small to medium sized fishes (to 45 cm); body an elongate oval to elongated; compressed; top of head with ridges and canals; external edges of head bones strongly serrated and spiny; eyes very large; mouth oblique, moderately large, upper jaw extendible; teeth small, in bands; dorsal fin XI-XII strong spines, 8-13 rays, strongly notched between two parts; anal fin with IV stout spines, 3rd strong and long; tail base slender; tail fin forked; pelvics I, 7; body scales large, very rough; lateral line complete, 25-57 pored scales; usually red.
Squirrelfishes and Soldierfishes occur in all tropical seas, but most inhabit the Indo-Pacific region. The family contains eight genera with about 82 species; 11 species in 7 genera occur in our area.
Note: Reports of scattered individuals of the E Atlantic species Sargocentron hastatum most likely are of hybrids among Sargocentron species resident in the Caribbean.
PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER GREENFIELD (2002)