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Spotfin Squirrelfish - Neoniphon sammara

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The Spotfin Squirrelfish is silver with dark red markings. They are named for the dark red spot on the front of the dorsal fin. The stripes are dark reddish-brown with yellow in the fins and it has dark "freckles" below the eyes.

Squirrelfish and Soldierfish are brightly colored, usually red with pearly white, silver, black or yellow accents – but unlike most other reef fish, their color is not used to get them noticed. These fish, belonging to separate subfamilies of the family Holocentridae, use their red color to help them disappear in the dark depths and caves where they live and hunt. These fish are nocturnal, meaning they are active mostly at night, and many live in deeper waters than the sunlight can penetrate. The all have very large eyes, too, which helps them to see prey in their dark environment.

Squirrelfish and Soldierfish spend most of their time during daylight hours hiding in rocks, caves, or other dim areas of the aquarium. They can be kept as individuals, but are more secure in groups, and should be kept that way if the tank is large enough. They will not bother corals, but will eat small fish, shrimp, and other invertebrates they come across. Feed them a variety of meaty foods and provide a space for them to hide, whether with live rock or ornaments with caves.


F91 0007 0506
That Fish Place
Common NameSpotfin Squirrelfish
Scientific NameNeoniphon sammara
Reef SafeYes
Invert SafeNo
Community SafeYes, with caution
Max Size (in inches)12
Min Tank Size (in gallons)120
Specific Gravity Range1.020-1.024
pH Range8.0-8.4
Temperature Range75-82
Internal Id

State Restrictions
Armed Forces Americas
Armed Forces Europe
Armed Forces Pacific
Puerto Rico


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