Neoniphon sammara (Forsskål, 1775)
Neoniphon sammara (Forsskål, 1775)
Genus: , ,

Scientific Name: Neoniphon sammara

English Name: Sammara squirrelfish

Creole Name: Lyon

French Name: Marignan tacheté

IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)


Dorsal spines: 11; Dorsal rays: 11-13; Anal spines: 4; Anal rays: 7-8. 

A slender squirrefish with laterally compressed body and a projecting lower jaw. Forked caudal fin. 
Colour. A silvery to golden squirrelfish fading to white below with a series of narrow dark red to blackish stripes. Stripe on lateral line red. Black spots on the cheek, 
and a broad reddish band on the gill cover. A large diagnostic dark red spot on the front of the dorsal fin that continues as a dark band the length of the fin, bordered 
by white spine tips and white basal markings. Outer margin of caudal lobes and anterior soft rays of dorsal and anal fins reddish; pectoral fins pale pink, pelvic fins white.


Maturity: Lm 15.0 cm. Max length : 32.0 cm TL, common length : 23.0 cm TL.

Habitat and Ecology:

Inhabits reefs and associated benthic habitats (depth 0-46m). Often found with branching Acropora coral. Feeds on small fishes, small crabs, and shrimps at night. 
Venomous spine at the corner of its preopercle. Usually solitary or in small groups. 

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. If caught at all, it is a very rare component of the catch. 


Photo provided courtesy of Mr Guido Carrara (c) 2021. Photo taken off Anse Possession, Praslin.
Photo courtesy Eleanor Brighton and Chris Mason-Parker (c) 2022 Blue Safari Seychelles/Marine Conservation Society, Seychelles. Photograph taken at Alphonse group 2022.


Bray, D.J. (2020). Neoniphon sammara in Fishes of Australia, (22/10/21). 
Froese, R. & D. Pauly. Eds. (2021). FishBase. (22/10/21). 
McGrouther, M. (2019). Slender Squirrelfish, Neoniphon sammara (Forsskål, 1775). Australian Museum. (22/10/21).   
Williams, I. & Greenfield, D. (2016). Neoniphon sammara (errata version 2017). The IUCN Red List 2016: (22/10/21).


Nevill, J.E.G. & Carrara, G.  (2021). Neoniphon sammara, Sammara squirrelfish. Seychelles Seatizens. (edited 19/07/22)

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