By Bob Goemans
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 Sargocentron ittodai (Samurai Squirrelfish)

Sargocentron ittodai
(Jordan & Fowler, 1902)

Samurai Squirrelfish

Likely Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable


These fishes belong in the Order Beryciformes and Suborder Holocentroidei as members of the Family Holocentridae (Squirrelfishes & Soldierfishes) consisting of 2 Subfamilies, 8 genera, and 65 species.

Similar to Cardinalfish in physical characteristics, yet with size the major difference. Some are capable of making loud clicking sounds. They are sensitive to sounds like tapping on the aquarium glass because they have large air bladders. Most are too large for the average aquarium. Peaceful, generally nocturnal, and somewhat colorful, yet mostly crevice and cave dwellers. Since they are generally a fast growing species, aquarium size is an important consideration. Better in small groups than individuals or a pair, as one may pick on the other. Should have numerous hiding places, caves, and overhangs in the aquarium. Not safe with anything that could be swallowed. They also have spines on their head and gills, which can come entangled in nets. They also have a large preopercular spine, which can inflict a wound if mishandled by the aquarist. And in some species there is an associated venom that can cause intense pain. For in-depth information concerning these fishes, checkout Reef Fishes Volume 1 by Scott Michael (ISBN #1-890087-21-1). You can see a review of this exquisite book by visiting my Product & Book Reviews page.

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