The Samurai Squirrelfish can be recognised by its colour pattern. The speices is nocturnal, venturing out of caves and from under ledges at night to forage for food.
The Samurai Squirrelfish has red and white stripes on the sides of the body. The head is red with a white stripe below the eye and a vertical stripe on the preopercular margin. The dorsal fin is bright red with white tips. There is dark pigment on the dorsal fin membrane between the first few spines and large white spots on the membrane of the lower part of the fin.
The Samurai Squirrelfish is found in coral reef and inshore waters of the tropical Indo-west Pacific. In Australia it is known from the east coast, from the northern Great Barrier Reef, northern New South Wales and the Sydney region.
The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.
Ozcam map of Samurai Squirrelfish specimens in the Australian Museums. http://ozcam.ala.org.au/occurrences/search?q=Sargocentron%20ittodai&zoom=off#mapView
Other behaviours and adaptations
The Samurai Squirrelfish is a nocturnal species.
- 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.
- Randall, J.E. 1998. Revision of the Indo-Pacific Squirrelfishes (Beryciformes: Holocentridae: Holocentrinae) of the genus Sargocentron, with descriptions of four new species. Indo-Pacific Fishes. 27: 105pp.
- Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.