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[skwur-uh l-fish, skwuhr- or, esp. British, skwir-] /ˈskwɜr əlˌfɪʃ, ˈskwʌr- or, esp. British, ˈskwɪr-/
noun, plural (especially collectively) squirrelfish (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) squirrelfishes.
any of several brightly colored, nocturnal fishes of the family Holocentridae, inhabiting shallow waters of tropical reefs, especially the reddish Holocentrus ascensionis of the West Indies, armed with sharp spines and scales.
1795-1805; perhaps after the sound it makes out of water, likened to a squirrel's bark Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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  • Bigeye on top and squirrelfish on bottom inspecting zodiac outboard engine during debris cleaning operation.
British Dictionary definitions for squirrelfish


noun (pl) -fish, -fishes
any tropical marine brightly coloured teleost fish of the family Holocentridae
Word Origin
C18: so called because it can make a squirrel-like noise
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for squirrelfish


any of about 70 species of large-eyed, colourful, tropical reef fish of the family Holocentridae (order Beryciformes). Squirrelfish are edible fish found throughout the tropics. They have spiny fins and rough, prickly scales; some also have a sharp spine on each cheek. Most squirrelfish are red in colour, and many are marked with yellow, white, or black. The largest species is probably Holocentrus spinifer, a Pacific squirrelfish growing about 60 cm (24 inches) long. Squirrelfish are carnivorous and nocturnal, hiding by day among the reefs

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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