Also known as Giant Squirrelfish, Longjaw Squirrelfish, Long-jawed Squirrelfish, Spinecheek Squirrelfish, Spiny Squirrelfish.
Found singly, pairs, or in small schools, during the day in caves, crevices, and under ledges, dispersing at night hunting for food, over reef flats, lagoons, and seaward reefs. Spines are venomous.
They feed nocturnally on crabs, smaller fish, and shrimps.
Juveniles found over protected reefs.
Length - 45cm
Depth - 1-120m
This is the largest of the Squirrelfish.
Its common name refers to the very long preopercular spine,(ie spine from the cheek, the Preopercal being the bone between the cheek and the gill cover) bright red with white scale margins. It has a deep red spinous Dorsal Fin, and a vertically elongated crimson blotch behind the eye. The dorsal profile of the head is nearly straight, the lower jaw protrudes beyond the upper jaw when the mouth is closed.
Squirrelfish are nocturnal hunters feeding near the bottom on small fish and swimming crustaceans. During the day they often congregate close to reefs and in caves, sometimes found upside down in caves.
Their colour can change greatly in different lights and if threatened.Almost white in the day and bright red at night.
Some of this family have venomous spines. Ref: https://www.fishbase.se/summary/6507