The blackbar soldierfish i(scientific name: Myripristis jacobus) s a member of the squirrelfish family (Family Holocentridae) that lives on coral reefs in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
Blackbar soldierfish. Source: Florent Charpin/www.reefguid.org
Kingdom: Animalia (Animals)
Blackbar soldierfish range in length from nine to 25 centimeters in length. They have red bodies with large eyes. They derive their name from the black bar located behind their heads.
They are found in the Western Atlantic from North Carolina (USA), the Bahamas and northern Gulf of Mexico to Brazil and throughout the West Indies and the Caribbean Sea. In the Eastern Atlantic they are found in St. Paul's Rocks, Cape Verde, Principe, Ascension and St. Helena islands.
They live on coral reefs at depths ranging from zero to 100 meters, but are more commonly found between two and 35 meters.
Blackbar soldierfish are nocturnal planktonivores that feed on plankton in the water column above the reef.
These nocturnal foragers spend the day aggregating in protected areas of the reef. At night they enter the water column to feed.
Spawning occurs in the water column. After the eggs hatch, larvae enter the pelagic stage where they remain until they settle on the reef.
Occasionally, blackbar soldierfish have cymothoid isopods attached on their heads between their eyes. These isopods have a commensal relationship with the soldierfish and live attached to the fish while they filter plankton out of the water column.
The blackbar soldierfish is not considered a species at risk.
References and Further Reading
- Encyclopedia of Life. Curator: C.Michael Hogan. 2011. Myripristis jacobus Cuvier, 1829
- Fishbase. Myripristis jacobus Blackbar soldierfish
- P.Humann and N.Deloach (Editor) 1994. Reef Fish Identification: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas. New World Publications, Inc. Jacksonville, FL. ISBN: 1878348078
- N.Deloach. 1999. Reef Fish Behavior, Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas. New World Publications, Inc. Jacksonville, FL. ISBN: 1878348280