Facts

Latin name Sargocentron caudimaculatum - (Rüppell, 1838)
Common name Silverspot squirrelfish
Family Holocentridae - Sargocentron
Origin East Indian Ocean, West Indian Ocean, Australia, Japan, The Red Sea, Indonesia, East Pacific, Central/West Pacific
Max length 25.0 cm (9.8")

As aquarium fish

Minimum volume 800 l (211 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

Venomous

This species is venomous, but it´s toxin is rarely dangerous to humans. It can however cause considerable pain.

In case of poisoning it is vital to have as much information as possible regarding the species/poison. Have telephone numbers for the poison hotline close to the aquarium.

Since different people can have different reactions to poisons, take precautions necessary to ensure personal safety and that of the surroundings.
This poison can be dangerous if suffering from allergies.

Can be a threat to small fish

This spicies might be a threat to smaller fishes.

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.

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 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 Yes
Distribution Indo-Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa (south to the latitude of the Xora River, South Africa) to the Marshall Islands and French Polynesia, north to Japan, south to Australia.
English common names Silverspot squirrelfish, Tailspot squirrelfish, Tail-spot squirrelfish, Whitetail squirrelfish
Danish common names Sølvplettet egernfisk
German common names Silberfleck-Husar
French common names Soldat à queue blanche, Écureuil tahitien

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

venomous, nocturnal night, docile shy, eats fish, eats shrimp
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