| Ecological Descriptors
Body reddish with light silvery stripes and occasional white patches, with large 'squirrel-like' eyes. Dorsal fin with a yellowish front, other fins and tail white. Rear of dorsal fin and upper lobe of the tail elongated. Spiny and soft parts of dorsal fin nearly separate, but connected by low membrane. With a size up to 60 cm, this is the largest squirrelfish. Juveniles are thin, silvery pelagics and seldom seen.
t is a demersal, nocturnal species that feeds on crabs, shrimps, and other small crustaceans over sand and grass beds. During the day it hides in crevices within reef structure. Juveniles generally congregate in schools, whilst adults tend to be more isolated within well established territories. Nocturnally active and drift inconspicuously in shaded areas near the bottom during day. Most abundant on shallow patch reefs and wall tops, down to 180 m.
Batch spawners. It has a pelagic juvenile phase of about 71 days. Spawning occurs all year round. Matures at ~15cm.
(C) Peter Leahy