Neoniphon opercularis

Blackfin Squirrelfish | Mouthfin Squirrelfish
Neoniphon opercularis
Neoniphon opercularis, North WA, Australia, Photo: Andrew Green


Tropical Indo-Pacific


Scales red, gradating to silver on undersides with yellow scale margins. Leading edges of anal, tail and 2nd dorsal red, and soft parts yellow. Lacking well-formed body stripes seen in N. argenteus (Silver Squirrelfish) and N. sammara (Slender Squirelfish), but with black section in middle of spiny dorsal fin. Dorsal spines have white base and tips. Shy and secretive, hides hovering amongst branching corals, under ledges and in caves.


Max Size: 35 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 24.2-31.4°C

Depth: 1-25m

Habitat Generalization Index: 2.2

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Not Evaluated

Occurrence: Infrequent (4.8% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Few (4 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.

Edit by: Joe Shields