Myripristis murdjan (Forsskål, 1775)
Soldierfishes tend to be quite similar in color, size,
and habits and some species can be quite hard to tell apart. While divemaster
at Midway Atoll in the mid 1990s, Keoki Stender was the first to recognize
this species as occurring in the Hawaian chain. It resembles the common
Bigscale Soldierfish (Myripristis berndti) but the dorsal fin is
red when raised, rather than yellow. The Brick Soldierfish (M. amaena)
has a red dorsal, but lacks white on the leading edges of its fins. So
far, the Blotch-Eye has not been recorded from the main Hawaiian Islands,
but few divers would take notice it if they saw it. If you photograph
one in Hawaii, let me know. The species has an Indo-Pacific distribution
and attains about 11 in.
More information on
this species can be found in Reef
and Shore Fishes of the Hawaiian Islands by Dr. John E. Randall.