Sargocentron spiniferum
Source: JJPhoto.dk
Sargocentron spiniferum
Source: JJPhoto.dk
Sargocentron spiniferum
Source: Julien Bidet / CC BY-SA 4.0
Sargocentron spiniferum
Source: Philippe Bourjon / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Facts

Latin name Sargocentron spiniferum - (Forsskål, 1775)
Common name Sabre squirrelfish
Family Holocentridae - Sargocentron
Origin East Indian Ocean, West Indian Ocean, Australia, Japan, The Red Sea, Indonesia, East Pacific, New Zealand, Central/West Pacific
Max length 51.0 cm (20.1")

As aquarium fish

Minimum volume 1500 l (396 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.

Threat towards crustaceans

This species poses a threat towards shrimps and crabs etc., which are relatively small.

Can be a threat to small fish

This spicies might be a threat to smaller fishes.

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.

Live food

There is a greater chance of success with this species if one can supply a living feed to allow it to adapt to the tank.

Nocturnal

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

Hiding amongst stony corals

This species likes to hide in and amongst the branches of corals, e.g. Acropora coral and

 will also do well if they can find other hiding places.

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 Unknown
Distribution Indo-Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa (Ref. 4201) to the Hawaiian and Ducie islands, north to southern Japan, south to Australia; throughout Micronesia.
English common names Sabre squirrelfish, Spinecheek squirrelfish, Spiny squirrelfsih, Long jawed squirrelfish
French common names Marignan sabre, Commissaire, Écureuil à grandes mâchoires, Grand écureuil de mer, Cardinal lancette

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, live food, docile shy, eats shrimp, eats crab, eats fish
Just a moment...
Just a moment...