Sargocentron vexillarium

Common Name

Dusky Squirrelfish

Year Described

Poey, 1860


Dorsal Fin: XI, 12-14
Anal Fin: IV, 9-10
Pectoral Fin: 14-16
Lateral Line Scales: 40-44
Vertebrae: 27 (total)
Gill Rakers: 17-19

Body oval with a flattened ventrum and convex dorsal profile. Head with small serrations on suborbital but no strong spines. Snout pointed with a convex frontal profile. Eye large. Preopercle with a strong spine at the angle. Opercle with 2 strong spines and additional serrations on margin. Mouth small; barely reaching middle of orbit. Rear dorsal, anal, and caudal fins pointed. Last dorsal spine shorter than second to last spine. Third anal spine strong. Scales obvious.


Body bright silvery with a yellowish wash dorsally and two broad reddish stripes on the head. There are several dark red stripes following scale rows. Spiny dorsal fin boldly marked with red and white markings. Other fins pale yellowish with thin reddish anterior lobes and a thinner white anterior margin. Pectoral fin with a small dark blotch at base. Eye dark red to almost black.


Maximum size to 17cm SL


Inhabits shallow (<20m) coral reefs in and around crevices.


Florida to northern South America, including the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Also Bermuda.


McEachran, J.D. and J.D. Fechhelm. 1998. Fishes of the Gulf of Mexico. Volume 1: Myxiniformes to Gasterosteiformes. University of Texas Press, Austin. i-viii + 1-1112.

Other Notes

Classified as Sargocentron, but recent evidence may justify moving to the genus Neoniphon.