Whitetail Squirrelfish, Sargocentron caudimaculatum (Rüppell 1838)

Other Names: Silverspot Squirrelfish, Tailspot Squirrelfish, White-tail Squirrelfish, White-tailed Squirrelfish

A Whitetail Squirrelfish, Sargocentron caudimaculatum, on Steve's Bommie, Ribbon Reefs, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, December 2001. Source: Erik Schlogl / iNaturalist.org. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A red squirrelfish with the rear of the body usually whitish, silver scale margins, a silvery white spot on the caudal peduncle, and a pale mottled red spinous dorsal fin with a bright red margin.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Sargocentron caudimaculatum in Fishes of Australia, accessed 27 May 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/4450

Whitetail Squirrelfish, Sargocentron caudimaculatum (Rüppell 1838)

More Info


Dampier Archipelago and offshore reefs of Western Australia, Ashmore Reef and Cartier Island, Timor Sea to Tassie Shoal, Northern Territory, and the northern Great Barrier Reef, and reefs in the Coral Sea, to  Julian Rocks, New South Wales; also Cocos (Keeling) islands and Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west Pacific.


Dorsal fin XI, 13-15; Anal fin IV, 8-9; Cheek scales 4-5 oblique rows.. 
Body depth 2.3-2.7 in SL; head length 2.3-2.8 in SL; snout length 3.6-4.0 in head length. Maxilla extending posteriorly from front of pupil to the centre of eye; upper jaw length 2.7-2.95 in head length; premaxillary groove reaching about front edge of orbit; anterior end of nasal bone with 2 short diverging spines; spine at edge of premaxillary groove absent; anterior edge of nasal fossa with 1 (rarely 2) spinule; upper edge of first suborbital bone not serrated.


Head and body red, edges of scales silver; silvery white spot anterodorsally on caudal peduncle (often disappears after death); spinous part of dorsal fin mottled light red, the outer part of the membranes bright red.


Feeds mostly at night on benthic crabs and shrimp.

Species Citation

Holocentrus caudimaculatus Rüppell 1838, Fische des Rothen Meeres 4: 97. Type locality: Red Sea. 


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Whitetail Squirrelfish, Sargocentron caudimaculatum (Rüppell 1838)


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

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

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

Grant, E.M. 2002. Guide to Fishes. Redcliffe : EM Grant Pty Ltd 880 pp. 

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 

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. 

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) 

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp. 

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. 1998. Revision of the Indo-Pacific squirrelfishes (Beryciformes: Holocentridae: Holocentrinae) of the genus Sargocentron, with descriptions of four new species. Indo-Pacific Fishes 27: 1-105 pls 1-11 

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. 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. 

Rüppell, W.P.E. 1838. Neue Wirbelthiere zu der Fauna von Abyssinien gehörig. Fische des Rothen Meeres. Frankfurt Vol. 4, pp. 81–148, pls 22–33. 

Russell, B.C. 1983. Annotated checklist of the coral reef fishes in the Capricorn-Bunker group, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Special Publication Series 1: 1-184 figs 1-2 

Shimizu, T. & Yamakawa, T. 1979. Review of the squirrelfishes (subfamily Holocentrinae : order Beryciformes) of Japan, with a description of a new species. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 26(2): 109-147 figs 1-23

Williams, I. & Greenfield, D. 2016. Sargocentron caudimaculatum (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T67900607A115441539. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T67900607A67906277.en. Downloaded on 14 August 2018.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37261022

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:2-45 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:25 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map