Sargocentron spiniferum (Forsskål, 1775)
Sargocentron spiniferum (Forsskål, 1775)
Genus: , ,

Scientific Name: Sargocentron spiniferum

English Name: Sabre squirrelfish

Creole Name: Lyon parasol

French Name: Marignan sabre

IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)


Dorsal spines: 11; Dorsal rays: 14-16; Anal spines: 4; Anal rays: 9-10 (Usually 10).

Deep-bodied and largest of the Squirrelfish. Dorsal profile of head straight. Lower jaw protrudes when mouth closed. Maxilla extends posteriorly to a vertical at front edge 
of the orbit. Five oblique scale rows on cheek. Preopercular spine particularly long. 2 subequal opercular spines.

Colour. Head and body red becoming paler ventrally. Scale edges silvery white. Large vertically elongate deep red spot behind eye. Pectoral-fin axil and region above 
pectoral-fin base deep red. Spinous dorsal crimson in colour. Other fins orange-yellowish.


Maturity: Lm unknown. Range unknown. Max Length: 51cm FL. Commonly to 35cm TL.

Habitat and Ecology:

Inhabits a variety of reef zones from reef flats to lagoon and seaward reefs (depth 1-122m). Found under ledges during the day. Typically solitary. Benthopelagic. Nocturnal. 
Juveniles inhabit shallow protected reefs. Feeds on crabs, shrimps and small fishes.

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It is caught in the fish trap fishery and also by handline, it is a fairly regular but not numerous 
component of the catch.


Spine of preopercle venomous.
In water photo courtesy Eleanor Brighton and Chris Mason-Parker (c) 2022 Blue Safari Seychelles/Marine Conservation Society, Seychelles. Photograph taken at Alphonse group 2022.


Fischer, W. & G. Bianchi (eds), (1984).  FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean; (Fishing Area 51). Prepared and printed with the 
support of the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA). Rome, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, vols 1-6.
Froese, R. & D. Pauly. (Eds.) (2019). FishBase. (07/06/19).
Williams, I. & Greenfield, D. (2016). Sargocentron spiniferum (errata version 2017). The IUCN Red List 2016: (06/05/20).


Nevill, J.E.G. (2019). Sargocentron spiniferum, Sabre squirrelfish. Seychelles Seatizens. (edited 07/07/22).

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