Dwarf Squirrelfish, Sargocentron iota Randall 1998

A Dwarf squirrelfish, Sargocentron iota, from Mururoa Atoll, French Polynesia - USNM 408297. Source: Jeffrey T. Williams / Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A small red squirrelfish with very narrow darker red stripes along the side, each between the scale rows, a reddish spinous dorsal fin with faint white mottling and a broad deep red margin. The caudal-fin lobes are broadly rounded.
The Dwarf Squirrelfish has been recorded from the Australian Territory of Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Sargocentron iota in Fishes of Australia, accessed 30 Jan 2020,

Dwarf Squirrelfish, Sargocentron iota Randall 1998

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Australian territory of Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical east-Indo west central Pacific.
This small secretive squirrelfish inhabits steep outer reef slopes, usually remaining close to shelter, even at night.


Dorsal fin XI, 12-14; Anal fin IV, 9; Vertebrae 27. 
Body depth 2.3-2.6 in SL; head length 2.5-2.6 in SL. 4-5 oblique rows of scales on cheek; anterior end of nasal bone rounded; moderately large and spineless nasal fossa; surface of nasal bone between fossa and edge of premaxillary groove with a prominent retrorse spine; median edge of nasal bone (margin of premaxillary groove) with a small recumbent retrorse spine; longest dorsal-fin spine 2.05-2.75 in head length; third anal-fin spine 1.5-1.6 in head length; broadly rounded caudal fin lobes; scales strongly serrated. 


Body red with a very narrow darker red stripe separating longitudinal scale rows; spinous part of dorsal fin red; mottled faintly with white, the outer part of each membrane deeper red; remaining fins with red rays and clear membranes. 


The species is named iota for the smallest letter in the Greek alphabet.

Species Citation

Sargocentron iota Randall 1998, Indo-Pacific Fishes 27: 36, pl. 3 (fig. B). fig. 13. Type locality: off Kahe Point Beach Park, Oahu, Hawaiian Islands. 


Bray, D.J. 2019


Australian Faunal Directory

Dwarf Squirrelfish, Sargocentron iota Randall 1998


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

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

Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. A comprehensive guide to the coral reef fishes of Micronesia. Guam : Coral Graphics vi 330 pp. 192 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.

Williams, I. & Greenfield, D. 2016. Sargocentron iota (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T67902088A115443362. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T67902088A67906312.en. Downloaded on 26 February 2019.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37261036

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-34 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:8 cm SL

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