The longspine squirrelfish (scientific name: Holocentrus rufus) is a member of the squirrelfish family (Family Holocentridae) that lives on coral reefs in the Western Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
Longspine_squirrelfish. Source: Florent Charpin/www.reefguid.org
Kingdom: Animalia (Animals)
Also known as Miss Darlington, the longspine squirrelfish range from 12 to 35 centimeters in length. Their bodies are mostly redish with white blotches. They have white triangular markings on the tips of their dorsal spines. They have large eyes.
Longspine squirrelfish live on coral reefs at depths ranging from zero to 32 meters.
Longspine squirrelfish are nocturnal foragers so they spend their days hiding in coral crevices or under ledges. At night, they leave the reef to feed in sand and sea grass beds. During the day they defend their hiding places from intruders using calls, produced by their swim bladders, displays and lunges.
Spawning occurs from January through March and again in the fall. Spawning occurs in the water column. After the eggs hatch, larvae enter the pelagic stage where they remain until they settle on the reef.
The longspine squirrelfish is not considered to be a species at risk.
References and Further Reading
- Encyclopedia of Life. Curator: C.Michael Hogan. 2011. Holocentrus rufus (Walbaum, 1792)
- Fishbase. 2011. Holocentrus rufus, Longspine Squirrelfish
- P.Humann and N.Deloach (Editors) 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