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Commonly Asked Questions

Appears in Georgia Aquarium's:
  • Ocean Voyager
  • Shipwreck Habitat (Tropical Diver)

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs in the Western Atlantic from North Carolina, the Bahamas and the Northern Gulf of Mexico to Brazil, including the West Indies and the Caribbean. Also in some of the oceanic islands in the Eastern Atlantic. 
  • Found in shallow water crevices and holes in coral and rock reefs during the day and emerges at night to feed. 
  • Preferred depth range is 6-100 feet (2-35 m), but it has been observed offshore to depths of about 330 feet (100 m).

Physical Characteristics

  • The body of blackbar soldierfish is reddish on the back and upper sides, fading to silver on the underside. Its fins are red with white markings.
  • There is a distinctive dark-brown vertical bar behind the operculum.
  • Its eyes are large which aids in finding prey at night.
  • Maximum length of 10 inches (25 cm) in length, but usually does not exceed about 8 inches (20 cm).

Diet / Feeding

  • Diet consists primarily of plankton, but will consume small shrimp and other crustaceans.

Reproduction / Growth

  • Ovoviviparous; species lays eggs to bare young.

Conservation Status

  • “Not Evaluated” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • Swims alone or in small groups, occasionally observed swimming upside down.
  • In some locations the blackbar soldierfish is caught and marketed fresh, although it is not a popular food fish.
  • Sold in the home aquarium trade.


  • Coral Reef Fishes. Lieske, E. and Myers, R., pg. 146