Also known as Giant Squirrelfish, Long Jaw Squirrelfish and Spinecheek Squirrelfish.
Found singly or in pairs in deep lagoons to outer reefs often living in caves and crevices.
They feed nocturnally on smaller fish, crabs and shrimps.
Spines are venomous.
Length - 45cm
Depth to 30m
This is the largest of the Squirrelfish.
Its common name refers to the very long preopercular spine,(ie spine from the cheek, the Preopercal being the bone between the cheek and the gill cover) bright red with white scale margins. It has a deep red spinous Dorsal Fin, and a vertically elongated crimson blotch behind the eye. The dorsal profile of the head is nearly straight, the lower jaw protrudes beyond the upper jaw when the mouth is closed.
Squirrelfish are nocturnal hunters feeding near the bottom on small fish and swimming crustaceans. During the day they often congregate close to reefs and in caves, sometimes found upside down in caves.
Their colour can change greatly in different lights and if threatened.Almost white in the day and bright red at night.
Some of this family have venomous spines.