Sargocentron ittodai (Jordan & Fowler, 1902)
Sargocentron ittodai (Jordan & Fowler, 1902)
Genus: , ,

Scientific Name: Sargocentron ittodai

English Name: Samurai squirrelfish

Creole Name: Lyon

French Name: Écureuil samouraï

IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)


Dorsal spines: 11; Dorsal rays: 13-14; Anal spines: 4; Anal rays: 8-10.

Medium-sized Squirrelfish. Body oval in profile and moderately laterally compressed. Large eyes. Short snout. Mouth terminal. Lower jaw does not protrude from the upper.  
Maxilla extends from below front of pupil to below centre of eye. 5 oblique rows of scales on cheek. Short preopercular spine. 2.5 scale rows from lateral line to midpoint 
of dorsal fin. Dorsal fin continuous but deeply notched between spines and rays. 4th or 5th dorsal spine longest. Caudal fin deeply forked with rounded tips.

Colour. The head is red with a white stripe below the eye and a vertical white stripe on the preopercular margin. Body with red and white stripes following the scale rows.
The spinous dorsal fin is bright red with white tips and a lower narrow white longitudinal stripe. The dorsal fin also has dark patches on the 1st to 3rd spinous membranes.
Inner surface of pectoral fin axil with black spot. Leading white edge to pelvic and anal fins. Pectorals, soft dorsal, soft anal and inner caudal rays transparent.  


Maturity: Unknown. Max length : 17 cm TL (20 cm TL around Japan). 

Habitat and Ecology:

Inhabits outer reef slopes (depth 5-190 m, usually 5-70 m). Nocturnal. Shelters in caves and under ledges during the day. Feeds at night on benthic invertebrates, 
especially on crabs and shrimps. Solitary or in groups. Spine of preopercle venomous.

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It has not been recorded by the author (J. Nevill) in the artisanal catch in 10 years of catch monitoring. 


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. (2019). Sargocentron ittodai in Fishes of Australia, (20/07/21). 
Froese, R. & D. Pauly. (Eds.) (2022). FishBase. (19/07/22).
McGrouther, M. (2019). Samurai Squirrelfish, Sargocentron ittodai (Jordan & Fowler, 1903) (19/07/22).  
Smith, M. & Heemstra, P. (Eds.) (1999). Smiths’ Sea Fishes Edition 6. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 10.1007/978-3-642-82858-4
TaiEOL. Sargocentron ittodai (Jordan & Fowler, 1902). (19/07/22).    
Williams, I. & Greenfield, D. (2016). Sargocentron ittodai (errata version 2017). The IUCN Red List 2016: (19/07/22).


Nevill, J.E.G., Brighton, E. & Mason-Parker, C. (2022). Sargocentron ittodai, Samurai squirrelfish . Seychelles Seatizens.

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