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.