Greek, holos = whole + Greek, kentron = sharp point
No. of Species
Tropical Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. A single spine in pelvic fin; soft rays 5-8 (mode 7). Dorsal fin long with 10-13 spines and a notched soft-rayed part with 11-17 rays. Anal fin with four spines and 7-16 soft rays. Forked caudal fin; principal caudal rays 18 or 19. Large and very rough ctenoid scales. Large eyes. Spiny-edged operculum. Vertebrae 26 or 27. Usually reddish in color. Most are nocturnal. Usually cryptic during the day in crevices or beneath ledges of reefs, along with cardinal fishes, bigeyes, and sweepers. Most species in shallow water from shoreline to 100 m depth, rarely over 200 m. Soldiesfish feed mainly on large zooplankton whereas squirrelfish feed on benthic invertebrates and small fishes. Adults usually demersal (remain near shelter on the bottom, Ref. 49162); the larvae are planktonic for several weeks and settle at a size of about 3 cm. Myripristis has been observed spawning in open water, a few days after full moon. About 61 cm maximum length, attained in Sargocentron spinifer. Hardy in aquariums. Important subsistance foodfishes in many areas.
Other "Popular" Names for this Fish
Tahitian Squirrelfish, Bluestrip Squirrelfish
Occurs along exposed reef margins and outer reef slopes. Has been observed at depth of 183 m in Hawaii. Benthopelagic. Secretive during the day and hides in holes and crevices of surge channels. Feeds at night on crustaceans, crustacean larvae, polychaete worms, and small fishes. Spine of preopercle venomous.
Biology & Physical Description
Dorsal spines (total): 11; Dorsal soft rays (total): 13-15; Anal spines: 4; Anal soft rays: 9. Body is red with silvery red stripes overlaid with blue iridescence; spinous portion of dorsal fin red with white-tipped spines and a white blotch in the middle of each membrane; leading edges of pelvic and anal spines white. Five oblique scale rows on cheek; body depth 2.6-2.95 in SL; head length (HL) 2.6-2.9 in SL; snout often shorter than orbit diameter, its length 3.6-3.9 in HL; interorbital width 5.05-5.85 in HL; maxilla extending posteriorly from center of eye to below rear edge of the pupil, upper jaw length 2.2-2.3 in HL; premaxillary groove usually reaching to a vertical at front edge of the orbit; anterior end of nasal bone with 2 short diverging spines; medial margin of nasal bone spineless; large nasal fossa without spinules on margin; slight ridge along the upper edge of suborbital bones with low recumbent spinules in young, becoming smooth in adults, at least below the anterior half of orbit; opercle with 2 large subequal opercular spines; preopercular spine, 3.6-5.2 in HL; short dorsal spines, 3rd to 5th subequal, 4th dorsal spine usually longest, 2.6-3.5 in HL; 3rd anal spine 1.5-2.3 in HL
Geographic Species Map (Fishbase.org Map)
Summary of Distribution: Indo-Pacific: East Africa to the Hawaiian, Marquesan, and Ducie islands, north to southern Japan, south to Australia and the Austral Islands; throughout Micronesia.
Note: Distribution range colors indicate degree of suitability of habitat which can be interpreted as probabilities of occurrence (fishbase.org)