The Doubletooth Soldierfish (Myripristis hexagona) is also known as the Blacktip Soldierfish, the Large-scale Soldierfish , the Pale Soldierfish and the Red-fin Squirrelfish.
Soldierfish are in the family Holocentridae and sub family Myripristis and are closely related to the squirrelfish in the sub family Holocentrinae, they differ from Squirrelfish in that they do not have sharp spines on the gill cover and it is unclear how they obtain the common name of Red-fin Squirrelfish.
Doubletooth Soldierfish have a silver red body with dark red edging on their large scales. Depending on the angle on views them from , they sometimes appear more red than silver or visa versa. As a rule the more of an angle one views them from or photographs them from ,the more silver they appear. The dorsal, anal and caudal fins have a white to blue edging. Being nocturnal feeders they have proprtionally large eyes. They grow up to 30 centimeters in length. To differentiate them from other Soldierfish , they do not have a large blotch on the eye and have no black mark down the side of the gill cover.
DOUBLETOOTH SOLDIERFISH SOLDIERFISH IN THE WILD
Doubletooth soldierfish are often seen during the day under ledges and in caves. They are generally shy and will head into hiding if a diver gets too close. They are often found in quite large groups around the branching corals with other species of Soldierfish and Squirrelfish. During the night they are seen solitary.
The Doubletooth Soldierfish is found across the Indian ocean and into the west Pacific, excluding the Red Sea and Persian Gulf areas. They are found from depths of 10 to 30 meters usually in deep lagoons and outer reefs.
The Double-tooth Soldierfish are nocturnal feeders. At night they leave the shelters they spend the day in and hunt individually. They feed mainly on planktonic crustacean larvae.
Little is known of their breeding habits, but pairs 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.
DOUBLETOOTH SOLDIERFISH CLASSIFICATION
Species: M. hexagona
- Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. Coral Graphics.