Bigscale Soldierfish, Myripristis berndti Jordan & Evermann 1905

Other Names: Blotcheye Soldierfish, Yellow-fin Squirrelfish

A Bigscale Soldierfish, Myripristis berndti, at North Point, Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, February 2017. Source: Anne Hoggett / Lizard Island Field Guide License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A whitish to pale red soldierfish with dark red scale margins, a yellow spinous dorsal fin, a dark brown to blackish margin on the gill cover and narrow white margins on the dorsal, anal, pelvic fins and outer caudal fin rays. The lower jaw projects beyond the upper jaw in adults.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Myripristis berndti in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Feb 2024,

Bigscale Soldierfish, Myripristis berndti Jordan & Evermann 1905

More Info


North West Cape, and offshore Reefs of north Western Australia, and Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea, to Sydney, New South Wales including reefs in the northern Coral Sea; also Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean, and the Lord Howe Province and Norfolk Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species is widespread in the Indo-west-central Pacific, from East Africa to the Hawaii and French Polynesia, and north to southern Japan.
Usually inhabits outer reefs, sheltering in caves, large crevices and beneath ledges during the day.


Dorsal fin X + I,13-15; Anal fin IV, 11-13; Pectoral fin 14-16; Gill rakers 35-42; Lateral-line scales 28-31. 
Body depth 2.3-2.6 in SL; small scales present on lower 2/3rds of pectoral-fin axil; lower jaw strongly projecting in adults.


A nocturnal planktivore.

Similar Species

The Crimson Soldierfish, Myripristis murdjan, differs in having a red spinous dorsal fin (vs. yellowish-orange in M. berndti), and a slightly projecting lower jaw (vs. adults with a strongly projecting lower jaw in M. berndti).


The species is named in honour of Mr. Louis Berndt, superintendent of the Honolulu fish market, the type locality.

Species Citation

Myripristis berndti Jordan & Evermann 1905, Bulletin of the United States Fish Commission 23(1): 170. Type locality: Honolulu. 


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Bigscale Soldierfish, Myripristis berndti Jordan & Evermann 1905


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., Hoese, D.F., Paxton, J.R., Randall, J.E., Russell, B.C., Starck, W.A., Talbot, F.H. & Whitley, G.P. 1976. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Lord Howe Island. Records of the Australian Museum 30(15): 365-454 figs 1-2 

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp. 

Craig, M.T., Eble, J.A., Bowen, B.W. & Robertson, D. 2007. High genetic connectivity across the Indian and Pacific Oceans in the reef fish Myripristis berndti (Holocentridae). Marine Ecology Progress Series 334: 245–254.

Francis, M. 1993. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, southwest Pacific Ocean. Pacific Science 47(2): 136-170 figs 1-2 

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. Checklist and new records of Christmas Island fishes: the influence of isolation, biogeography and habitat availability on species abundance and community composition. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 184–202 See ref online

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 See ref online

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. 

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3) 

Jordan, D.S. & Evermann, B.W. 1905. The aquatic resources of the Hawaiian Islands. I. The shore fishes of the Hawaiian Islands, with a general account of the fish fauna. Bulletin of the United States Fish Commission 23(1): 1-574 figs 1-229 pls 1-65 col. pls 1-73 

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

Larson, H.K., Williams, R.S. & Hammer, M.P. 2013. An annotated checklist of the fishes of the Northern Territory, Australia. Zootaxa 3696(1): 1-293 

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. 

Roberts, C.D. 2015. Family Holocentridae. pp. 1022-1024 in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 3 pp. 577-1152.

Williams, I. & Greenfield, D. 2016. Myripristis berndti (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T67869566A115434172. Downloaded on 08 July 2019.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37261006


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:3-159 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:30 cm TL

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