Two Blackbar Soldierfish are found hiding in the reef in the afternoon. Blackbar Soldierfish are identified by their brilliant red color and their single black bar. A bar is a vertical stripe on a fish. Also note the thin, white outlines on the Blackbar Soldierfish's fins. Blackbar Soldierfish are a member of a family of fishes calles Squirrelfish. Like other Squirrelfish, Blackbar Soldierfish have huge eyes and are red all over.
Blackbar Soldierfish are common on many reefs in the Caribbean. They hide in crevices and holes in the reef during the day, but go out at night to hunt and swim in the waters above the reef. The Blackbar Soldierfish's red color and huge eyes make it a terrific nighttime hunter. The blue waters of the tropical oceans filter out red light, so the Blackbar Soldierfish's red color makes it nearly invisible at night. The Blackbar Soldierfish's huge eyes gather what little light is available at night, so it can see to hunt plankton in the water above the reef.
These Blackbar Soldierfish were in a reef called The Cliff on the west coast of the island of Bonaire. The reef was called "The Cliff" because of the steep wall of the reef which dropped into deep water. Blackbar Soldierfish are common on Bonaire, and are found in reefs as shallow as 20 feet and as deep as 60 feet.