During the day, this species takes shelter within the reef, coming out at night to feed on plankton and small crustaceans. Its large eyes help take in more light in dark waters, making this species well-adapted for nocturnal feeding.
  • Size

    8 inches (20 cm)
  • Diet

    Plankton, small shrimp and other crustaceans
  • Range

    Western Atlantic
  • Habitat

    Shallow water crevices and holes in coral and rock reefs

Physical Characteristics

  • Maximum length of 10 inches (25 cm) in length, but usually does not exceed about 8 inches (20 cm).
  • The blackbar soldierfish is recognizable by its often bright red coloration on the back and sides of its body, and a broad, black bar running from slightly behind the eye to the top edge of the pectoral fin on either side. Its fins are red with white markings.
  • Its eyes are large which aids in finding prey at night.


Animal Fact

Blackbar soldierfish are often seen swimming upside down near rocky and coral reefs throughout its range.

Diet / Feeding

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

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. Can also be found 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.
  • Their preferred depth range is 6-100 feet (2-30.5 m), but it has been observed offshore to depths of about 330 feet (100.5 m).

Reproduction & Growth

  • Oviparous; egg-laying species

Conservation Status

  • “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • Swims alone or in small groups, occasionally observed swimming upside down.


Buy Tickets