Animal Species:Crimson Soldierfish, Myripristis murdjan (Forsskal, 1775)

The Crimson Soldierfish is a cave and crevice dweller that can be recognised by its large eyes, large scales and the dark brown to black band just behind the head.

A Crimson Soldierfish at North Solitary Island

A Crimson Soldierfish at North Solitary Island
Photographer: Ian Shaw © Ian Shaw

Standard Common Name

Crimson Soldierfish


The Crimson Soldierfish is silvery pink with red scale margins. A dark brown to black region runs from the top of the operculum to the pectoral fin base. There is a large black blotch above the pupil and a smaller blotch below.

The first dorsal fin is red. The remaining median fins and pelvic fins are red with white leading rays.

Size range

The species grows to 27 cm in length.


It occurs in tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific.

In Australia it is known from the central coast of Western Australia, around the tropical north and south to the northern New South Wales coast.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Myripristis murdjan

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Crimson Soldierfish specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?


The species is normally seen in caves and crevices.


murdjan (Forsskal, 1775)

What does this mean?


  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
  2. Allen, G.R. & R. Swainston. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 201.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  5. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.
  6. Randall, J.E. & D.W. Greenfield. 1996. Revision of Indo-Pacific Holocentrid Fishes of the Genus Myripristis, with Descriptions of Three New Species. Indo-Pacific Fishes. 25: 1-61.

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Tags fish, ichthyology, Crimson Soldierfish, Myripristis murdjan, fishes, caves, large eyes, large scales, stripes or bands, silvery pink, red, 10 cm - 30 cm, tropical water, marine,