Crowned squirrelfish is a venomous fish with a red-orange body and gold-yellow horizontal stripes. Depending on the region it’s found, it has been given many names. It migrated to the seas of our country through the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. They live on the rocky coasts of the Aegean and Mediterranean. It is one of about 150 species in the same family.
Crowned squirrelfish Summary
|Other Names:||Soldier Fish, Indian Fish, Squirrel Fish|
|Scientific Name:||Sargocentron rubrum, Holocentridae|
|Origin:||East Atlantic, Mediterranean, Black Sea|
|Adult Size:||30 cm|
|Reproduction:||They lay eggs|
|Breeding Season:||July – August|
They share the same environment as fish like the Grouper and the Bream for living. They can grow up to 30 cm, but those in our seas are usually smaller. They are commonly seen in our seas with an average size of 20 cm. Crowned squirrelfish is venomous. The spines on the gill parts are poisonous. Although not fatal, care should be taken when caught. They have 7 or 9 light yellow horizontal stripes. Their color leans towards reddish-brown. They are covered with thick scales resembling armor. Their fin spines are sharp and pointed. They also have notably large eyes.
Depending on the region they are found, they are given various names but are mostly known as Crowned squirrelfish.
Habitat And Diet
During the day, they spend time hiding in lagoons, bays, and rocky areas along the coastlines of the sea. They are found both near the surface and in deeper waters. Their habitats range from 1 to 84 meters. They are territorial fish and defend their habitats and the crevices they nest in by making a sound similar to a wheeze at a frequency of 6 kHz. They prefer areas with strong currents and tides. Especially at night, they often get caught by fishermen’s hooks in these areas. Crowned squirrelfish are carnivorous marine fish that are active at night. They wait for nightfall to feed and then emerge from the rocks. Their diet includes shrimps and crabs, as well as small fish.
Is Crowned squirrelfish Edible?
Crowned squirrelfish is edible. Although it doesn’t have any commercial value in our country, it is widely consumed in Venezuela and Brazil. In terms of the firmness and taste of its flesh, Crowned squirrelfish is rated average. It is also displayed in marine aquariums. The only problem is its tough scales and spines because it makes cleaning very challenging. Most people prefer to cook the fish without cleaning its scales and spines and then separate the meat. Even if not preferred, it is an enjoyable fish for fishing. They often get caught on hooks set for different fish as a surprise catch.
You can watch the video below to learn how to clean the Crowned squirrelfish.
Is Crowned squirrelfish Poisonous?
Yes, Crowned squirrelfish is poisonous, but its venom is not fatal to humans. This fish administers its venom through its spines and uses it when hunting or protecting itself.