The blotcheye soldierfish Myripristis murjan, is also known as the red soldierfish, pinecone soldierfish or crimson soldierfish. They are in the family Holocentridae and sub family Myripristis. Closely related to the squirrelfish in the sub family Holocentrinae, they differ in that they do not have sharp spines on the gill cover.
Blotcheye soldierfish have a silver pink to red body with red edging on their large scales. There is a distinctive blotch over the eye and a black mark behind the gill cover. Most fins have a white edging to them and they have large eyes. They grow up to 30 centimeters in length. Visually in the right light their colors can be very attractive.
IN THE WILD
They are generally shy and will usually back away from a diver if he gets too close.
The blotcheye soldierfish is found across the Indian ocean and in the west Pacific.
During the day they are found in caves, often with different species of soldierfish and sometimes in the company of squirrelfish. At night they are be seen out hunting individually.
The blotcheye soldierfish are nocturnal feeders. They feed mainly on small crustaceans, small fishes and large plankton.
Little is known of their breeding habits, but they are thought to spawn into the water table where the larvae mature.
They are not exploited commercially but they are caught by subsistence fishermen and the flesh is white and reportedly very tasty.
These fish grow quite large and unless you have a large aquarium of several hundred gallons, you should not keep them. They require an overhang or cave to hide in. If space is at a premium they may become territorial and bully smaller fish who enter their daytime hiding spot. They are easy to feed and care for.
BLOTCHEYE SOLDIERFISH CLASSIFICATION
Species: M. berndti
- The Reef Guide fishes, corals, nudibranchs & other invertebrates: East and South Coasts of Southern Africa by Dennis King & Valda Fraser
- Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. Coral Graphics.