Samurai Squirrelfish, Sargocentron ittodai (Jordan & Fowler 1903)

A Samurai Squirrelfish, Sargocentron ittodai, at South Solitary Island, New South Wales, May 2014. Source: Ian Shaw / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A squirrelfish with alternating red and white stripes along the side following the scale rows, with the red stripes often being slightly narrower than the white stripes (red stripes usually broader in populations of Taiwan and Japan), and the spinous dorsal fin with a black anterior blotch, white tips on the fin and a white stripe running above the base of the fin.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Sargocentron ittodai in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Jun 2024,

Samurai Squirrelfish, Sargocentron ittodai (Jordan & Fowler 1903)

More Info


Northern Great Barrier Reef and reefs in the Coral Sea, to the Solitary Islands and possibly south to Sydney, New South Wales; also Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere the species occurs ion the Indo-west central Pacific from the Red Sea and Africa to the Marquesas Islands. 
Inhabits outer reef slopes, sheltering in caves and under ledges during the day.


Dorsal fin XI,13-14; Anal fin IV, 8-10. 
Body depth 2.8-3.1 in SL; head length 2.8-3.1 in SL; snout short 3.65-4.15 in head length; interorbital width 4.3-4.65 in head length; maxilla extending from below front of pupil to below centre of eye, upper jaw length 2.6-2.9 in head length; premaxillary groove reaching to about a vertical at anterior edge of orbit; anterior end of nasal bone rounded; edge of small nasal fossa without spine; median edge of nasal bone (premaxillary groove margin) without spinule; upper edge of suborbital bones below the eye weakly serrated and without lateral spine; preopercular spine short, about 1/3 orbit diameter, 5.5-8.2 in head diameter; 4th or 5th longest dorsal spines, 1.7-2.2 in head length; third anal spine long, 1.15-1.4 in head length; 5 oblique rows of scales on cheek.


Feeds at night on benthic invertebrates, especially on crabs and shrimps.


The specific name ittodai is from the Japanese itto (= number one among many)  and tai (= porgy) a common name applied to this group of fishes.

Species Citation

Holocentrus ittodai Jordan & Fowler 1903,  Proceedings of the United States National Museum 26(1306): 16. Type locality: Naha, Okinawa Island, Ryukyu Islands, Japan.


Bray, D.J. 2019


Atlas of Living Australia

Samurai Squirrelfish, Sargocentron ittodai (Jordan & Fowler 1903)


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

Allen, G.R. & Cross, N.J. 1983. A new species and two new records of squirrelfishes (Holocentridae) from the eastern Indian Ocean and Australia. Revue Française d'Aquariologie et Herpétologie 10(1): 5-8 figs 1-5 

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

Dornburg, A., Moore, J.A., Webster, R., Warren, D.L., Brandley, M.C., Iglesias, T.L., Wainwright, P.C. & Near, T.J. 2012. Molecular phylogenetics of squirrelfishes and soldierfishes (Teleostei: Beryciformes: Holocentridae): reconciling more than 100 years of taxonomic confusion. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 65: 727–738 

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 

Jordan, D.S. & Fowler, H.W. 1903. A review of the berycoid fishes of Japan. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 26(1306): 1-21 figs 1-4,open access

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp. 

Masuda, H., Amaoka, K., Araga, C., Uyeno, T. & Yoshino, T. (eds) 1984. The Fishes of the Japanese Archipelago. Tokyo : Tokai University Press Vol. 1–2 437 pp. 247 figs 370 pls. 

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. 

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 ittodai (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T67902103A115443555. Downloaded on 29 November 2019.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37261024

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:5-70 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:20 cm TL

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