Facts

Latin name Neoniphon marianus - (Cuvier, 1829)
Common name Longjaw squirrelfish
Family Holocentridae - Neoniphon
Origin The Mexican Golf
Max length 18.0 cm (7.1")

As aquarium fish

Minimum volume 600 l (158 gal)
Hardiness Hardy
Suitable for aquarium Suitable with care
Reef safe Reef safe with caution
Aggressiveness Might be aggressive

Food

Recommended
  • Small crustaceans (Krill, mysis, artemia...)
  • Larger crustaceans (Shrimp, crabs...)
  • Other invertebrates
  • Fish

Can be a threat towards small crustaceans

This species can be a threat towards small crustaceans, e.g. small shrimp.

Take care when catching these fish

These fish should not be caught with a net, as it is all too easy to damage their large eyes.

Needs dimmed light at first

Out in wild this species is used to faint light, so to acclimitize it, it is advantageous to dim the light at first and gradually increase it to normal.

Nocturnal

This species is nocturnal and therefore the most active when the light is dimmed or turned off.

Initially shy

This species can be very shy when first introduced into a new aquarium.

More aggressive fish can be introduced after this species has acclimatized.

Can coexist with its own species

Several specimen of this species can coexist in the same aquarium, provided they are introduced simultaneously.

Can be aggressive

This species can be aggressive if they are not provided with adequate space.

Overhangs and caves

This species thrives best in an aquarium with overhangs and caves. 

Family description (Holocentridae)

Squirrel-/Soldierfish (Holocentrinae and Myripristinae) are normally a red/grey colour and very secretive.

As to how much they hide, varies from fish to fish, what they do have in common however, is that they are most active when the lights are off, but will, with time, come out more while the lights are on.

Squirrel-/Soldierfish are not generally a threat to other aquarium animals, but will sometimes eat very small fish and invertebrates.

Neither Squirrelfish or Soldierfish are particularly aggressive, and whilst most species can be kept in a small group, they will sometimes fight amongst themselves. In this case, space must be taken into consideration as the Squirrelfish will sometimes chase the less aggressive Soldierfish, if space is lacking. 

It is easy enough to get both fish types to eat, but if they do not come out during the day it is best to feed them when the lights are off. In the beginning it might be necessary to lure them out with live food. 

Squirrelfish have spikes on their head and gills which easily get caught in fishnets, so avoid those.
Being scratched by some species of Squirrelfish can result in an ugly wound and be painful, as some are actually poisonous.
If one is not careful when capturing and transporting these fish, their eyes can be damaged. 

FishBase

Aquarium trade Rarely
Distribution Western Atlantic: Florida Keys, USA and Bahamas to Trinidad. Antilles and throughout Caribbean (Ref. 26938).
English common names Longjaw squirrelfish, Hoseye conga
German common names Langschnäuziger Eichhörnchenfisch
Spanish common names Carajuelo mariano, Candil de fondo

References and further reading

About references

Scott W. Michael. 2001. Reef Fishes volume 1 - TFH Publications / Microcosm Ltd. - (English)
Henry C. Schultz. 2003. But They Don't Look Like a Rat with a Fuzzy Tail: The Family Holocentridae - Reefkeeping Magazine - (English)
Bob Fenner. Squirrel- & Soldierfishes, Family Holocentridae - Wet Web Media - (English)

Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2014. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version (08/2014).

Tags

nocturnal night, docile shy, shoal group, eats shrimp
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