Blotcheye Soldierfish – Facts and Photographs

 

blotcheye soldierfish (Myripristis berndti)

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.

APPEARANCE

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.

blotcheye soldierfish (Myripristis berndti)

 

IN THE WILD

They are generally shy and will usually back away from a diver if he gets too close.

HABITAT

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.

blotcheye soldierfish (Myripristis berndti)

DIET

The  blotcheye soldierfish are nocturnal feeders. They feed mainly on small crustaceans,  small fishes and large plankton.

REPRODUCTION

Little is known of their breeding habits, but they are thought to spawn into the water table where the larvae mature.

blotcheye soldierfish (Myripristis berndti)

 

COMMERCIAL EXPLOITATION

They are not exploited commercially but they are caught by subsistence fishermen and the flesh is white and reportedly very tasty.

AQUARIUMS

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

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Beryciformes
Family: Holocentridae
Genus: Myripristis
Species: M. berndti

LITERATURE CITED

Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. Coral Graphics.

The Reef Guide fishes, corals, nudibranchs & other invertebrates
East and South Coasts of Southern Africa
Dennis King & Valda Fraser

EQUIPMENT USED

Canon 7D

Ikelite 7D Housing

Twin Ikelite DS 161 Strobes

Flat Ikelite Lens Port

Ikelite Dual Synch Cord 

Ikelite 5.1 inch Port body

 

 

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