To celebrate this festive time of year, our December 2021 Fish of the Month is the Tinsel Squirrelfish (Neoniphon suborbitalis)!*

Survey Regions: Tinsel Squirrelfish are found in REEF's Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) region, from the Gulf of California to Ecuador including offshore islands such as the Revillagigedos, Cocos, and Galapagos Islands. Click here to view a sightings report for this species.

Size: They grow to about 10 inches.

Identifying Features: Tinsel Squirrelfish have a shimmery, silvery cast. Their head and body have a rosy to violet hue, and they have dark margins on their scales, especially on the upper half of their bodies.

Fun Facts: During the day, Tinsel Squirrelfish hide in caves, crevices, and under ledges of rocky reefs. At night, they come out into the open to feed on small crustaceans. Like other noctural species, they have very large eyes to help them see in the dark.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for our next Fish of the Month.

*This species was previously classified in the genus Sargocentron.

Photos by Paddy Ryan.