Description & Behavior

Squirrelfishes, aka longjaw squirrelfishes, Holocentrus adscensionis (Osbeck, 1765) have dorsal spines: 11-11; dorsal softrays: 15-16; anal spines: 4-4; anal soft-rays: 9-10. The tip of the membranes of their spinous dorsal fin is reddish or translucent. Posterior margin of upper jaw reaches posterior margin of pupil. Spiny and soft parts of dorsal fin are nearly separate, but connected by a low membrane. Squirrelfishes are dull red or pinkish in color, sometimes blotched. Reaches 20 cm in length.

World Range & Habitat


Squirrelfishes, Holocentrus adscensionis, are found from North Carolina to East and West Florida, Bermuda, parts of the Gulf of Mexico, West Indies and Caribbean south to Brazil.

Feeding Behavior (Ecology)

Squirrelfishes are a nocturnal species, hiding in deep crevices or under coral ledges during the day. At night squirrelfish usually moves over sand and grass beds to search for crabs and other small crustaceans.

Life History

External fertilization, open water/substratum egg scatterers that do not guard their eggs.

Conservation Status & Comments

Reports of ciguatera poisoning are noted.

References & Further Research

Research Holocentrus adscensionis @
Barcode of Life ~ BioOne ~ Biodiversity Heritage Library ~ CITES ~ Cornell Macaulay Library ~ Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) ~ ESA Online Journals ~ FishBase ~ Florida Museum of Natural History Ichthyology Department ~ GBIF ~ Google Scholar ~ ITIS ~ IUCN RedList (Threatened Status) ~ Marine Species Identification Portal ~ NCBI (PubMed, GenBank, etc.) ~ Ocean Biogeographic Information System ~ PLOS ~ SIRIS ~ Tree of Life Web Project ~ UNEP-WCMC Species Database ~ WoRMS

Search for Squirrelfishes @
Flickr ~ Google ~ Picsearch ~ Wikipedia ~ YouTube