Shadowfin Soldierfish, Myripristis adusta Bleeker 1853

Other Names: Blackfin Soldierfish, One-spot Squirrelfish

A Shadowfin Soldierfish, Myripristis adusta, swimmoing upside-down in False Entrance, Osprey Reef, Coral Sea, November 2006. Source: Erik Schlogl / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A pale pink soldierfish with distinct dark scale margins, a broad dark margin on the dorsal, anal and caudal fins, and a black blotch on the rear of the gill cover and on the pectoral-fin base. This is the largest soldierfish species.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Myripristis adusta in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Apr 2024,

Shadowfin Soldierfish, Myripristis adusta Bleeker 1853

More Info


Dampier Archipelago and offshore reefs of north Western Australia, Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, and the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland; also Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific, from East Africa to the Line and Tuamoto islands, and north to southern Japan.
Inhabits coral-rich areas on drop-offs and channel slopes on coastal and offshore reefs at depths to about 30 m. The Shadowfin Soldierfish is nocturnal and shelters in caves and beneath ledges during the day.


Dorsal fin X + I,14-16; Anal fin IV, 12-14; Pectoral fin 15-17; Gill rakers 35-40; Lateral-line scales 27-29; Scale rows above lateral line 2.
Body depth 2.0-2.5 in SL; large scales in pectoral-fin axil 1-2 (small scales absent).


A nocturnal planktivore.


The specific name is from the Latin adustus (= dark).

Species Citation

Myripristis adustus Bleeker 1853, Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië 4: 108. Type locality: Ambon, Indonesia (as Amboina).


Bray, D.J. 2019


Atlas of Living Australia

Shadowfin Soldierfish, Myripristis adusta Bleeker 1853


Allen, G.R. 1993. Fishes of Ashmore Reef and Cartier Island. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 44: 67-91 

Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls. 

Allen, G.R. & Russell, B.C. 1986. Part VII Fishes. pp. 79-103 in Berry, P.F. (ed.). Faunal Surveys of the Rowley Shoals, Scott Reef and Seringapatam Reef, northwestern Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 25: 1-106 

Allen, G.R. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 1-21 

Bleeker, P. 1853. Derde bijdrage tot de kennis der ichthyologische fauna van Amboina. Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië 4: 91-130 

Greenfield, D.W. 1974. A revision of the squirrelfish genus Myripristis Cuvier (Pisces : Holocentridae). Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History Science Bulletin 19: 1-54 figs 1-26 

Hobbs, J-P.A., Newman, S .J., Mitsopoulos, G.E.A., Travers, M.J., Skepper, C.L., Gilligan, J.J., Allen, G.R., Choat, H.J. & Ayling, A.M. 2014. Fishes of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands: new records, community composition and biogeographic significance. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 203–219 

Hutchins, J.B. 2003. Checklist of marine fishes of the Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia. pp. 453-478 in Wells, F.E., Walker, D.I., & Jones, D.S. (eds). Proceedings of the Eleventh International Marine Biological Workshop: The Marine Flora and Fauna of Dampier, Western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum. 

Kuiter, R.H. 1992. Tropical Reef-Fishes of the Western Pacific, Indonesia and Adjacent Waters. Jakarta : PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama 314 pp. pls. 

Randall, J.E. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific. New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press 707 pp. 

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs. 

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs. 

Randall, J.E. & Greenfield, D.W. 1996. Revision of the Indo-Pacific holocentrid fishes of the genus Myripristis, with descriptions of three new species. Indo-Pacific Fishes 25: 1-61 figs 1-12 pls 1-9 

Randall, J.E. & Greenfield, D.W. 1999. Family Holocentridae. pp. 2225-2256 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 4 pp. 2069-2790.

Williams, I. & Greenfield, D. 2016. Myripristis adusta (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T67869125A115433503. Downloaded on 08 July 2019.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37261008


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-30 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:35 cm TL

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map