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Florida Manatee & Aquatic Center Animal Fact Sheet
BLACKBAR SOLDIERFISH
Myripristis jacobus

Range:
Widespread Western Atlantic, Caribbean & West Africa.

The Blackbar Soldierfish is red and has thin white outlines on its fins. The Blackbar Soldierfish has large eyes and a very dark pupil in the center. It has a double dorsal fin with prominent spines on the first fin and a deeply forked tail. It has a dark brown / black vertical bar behind the gill cover and through its eye giving the fish its name.
The Blackbar Soldierfish is not typically known as a social fish; however, they have been observed schooling with as many as 36 other fish.
Because the Blackbar Soldierfish is a shy, secretive fish they can become easily stressed. When under stress, the Blackbar fish will make clicking and grunting noises.
Although the Blackbar Solider fish make not look dangerous, they have many predators. They keep a low profile hiding in dark recesses; however, just in case, their preopercle spines that are near the gill-opening are venomous.

This species of fish has also been known to swim upside down.


Habitat: Shallow protected inner reefs and lagoons often hiding in dark recesses. They are usually only seen at night swimming above corals, and are secretive during the day.
Diet: They feed on zooplankton - typically shrimp and crab larvae.
Status: Not considered at risk.
Approximate Dimensions of Adult: Length: 20 cm
Lifespan: Unknown in the wild, but approximately 3.9 years has been reported.
Reproduction & Offspring:

Blackbar, like many other marine organisms reproduce by external fertilization and do not provide any parental care. Typically, they spawn after a full moon.


 

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