Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Plectrypops lima, Roughscale soldierfish, Shy soldierfish

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body stout, oval
eyes high
body & fins bright red

Plectrypops lima (Valenciennes in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1831)

Roughscale soldierfish, Shy soldierfish

Body ovate, deep; snout moderately pointed with relatively long straight forehead; eyes large, at upper margin of head; mouth moderately large, slightly oblique; edge of bone under eye with small, slender, curved, partly forward-pointing spines; no large spines at corner of operculum or preoperculum; dorsal with XII spines, last spine shorter than spine before it, divided to base between 11th  and 12th  spines, dorsal spines relatively short, 14-16 soft rays; anal fin IV, 10-12, none of spines extremely long or thick; tail fin small, forked, with strongly rounded lobes; scales very rough; lateral-line scales 39-42.

Uniform bright red head, body and fins.

Size: grows to 16 cm.

Habitat: a seldom seen fish that hides in caves and crevices during the day.

Depth: 3-40 m.

Widespread in the tropical Indo-Pacific; known in the eastern Pacific from Cocos and Clipperton and the Revillagigedos.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Near Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Bottom
  • Corals
  • Water column
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Pelagic crustacea
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • Pelagic
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific)
  • TEP non-endemic
  • Indo-Pacific only (Indian + Pacific Oceans)
  • All Pacific (West + Central + East)
Regional Endemism
  • Island (s) only
  • All species
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • Eastern Pacific non-endemic
  • Vagrant
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 16
Depth Range Min
  • 3
Depth Range Max
  • 40