Animal Species:Epaulette Soldierfish, Myripristis kuntee Valenciennes, 1831

The Epaulette Soldierfish is a nocturnal species with large eyes and a broad bar behind the head.

Epaulette Soldierfish at North Solitary Island

Epaulette Soldierfish at North Solitary Island
Photographer: Ian Shaw © Ian Shaw

Standard Common Name

Epaulette Soldierfish

Alternative Name/s

Epaulette Squirrelfish, Kuntee Soldierfish, Kuntee Squirrelfish, Shoulderbar Soldierfish


The Epaulette Soldierfish has large eyes, rough scales and a forked caudal fin. It is red to orange-red above and shades to silver ventrally. There is a blackish bar through the pupil and a broad bar behind the head from the upper end of the gill opening to the pectoral fin base.

Size range

The species grows to about 20 cm in length.


The species occurs in tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific. In Australia it is known from the central coast of Western Australia, around the tropical north and south on the east coast to northern New South Wales.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Myripristis kuntee

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Epaulette Soldierfish specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?


It is usually seen in caves and crevices during the day, but at night comes out into the open to feed.



What does this mean?


  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
  2. Allen, G.R. & R. Swainston. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 201.
  3. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. in Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  5. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.
  6. Randall, J.E & D.W. Greenfield, 1996. Revision of the Indo-Pacific Holocentrid Fishes of the Genus Myripristis, with descriptions of three new species. Indo-Pacific Fishes 25: 1-61, pls i-ix.

Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags Fishes, Ichthyology, Epaulette Soldierfish, Myripristis kuntee, Holocentridae, nocturnal, large eyes, Epaulette Squirrelfish, Kuntee Soldierfish, Kuntee Squirrelfish, Shoulderbar Soldierfish, rough scales, forked caudal fin, red, orange-red, stripes or bands, 10 cm - 30 cm, tropical water, marine, caves,