Twenty-seven species of squirrelfishes (Holocentridae) of the genus Sargocentron are known from the Indo-Pacific region. The following 7 species are wide-ranging from the coast of East Africa to French Polynesia: S. caudimaculatum (Rüppell), S. diadema (Lacepède), S. ittodai (Jordan and Fowler), S. praslin (Lacepède), S. punctatissimum (Cuvier), S. spiniferum (Forsskål), the largest species of the genus (to 360 mm SL), and S. tiereoides (Bleeker). S. spiniferum extends its range to the Pitcairn Group and the Hawaiian Islands; S. diadema and S. punctatissimum also occur in Hawaii. S. violaceum is found from East Africa to the Line Islands in the Central Pacific; S. microstoma (Günther) ranges from the Chagos Archipelago and Maldive Islands to French Polynesia, S. tiere (Cuvier) from Aldabra to the Pitcairn Group, and S. melanospilos (Bleeker) from Aldabra to Samoa. The remaining species have more restricted distributions. S. cornutum (Bleeker) occurs from the Philippines to Australia; S. dorsomaculatum Shimizu and Yamakawa is known only from the Ryukyu Islands, Palau, and the Caroline Islands. S. ensiferum (Jordan and Evermann) appears to be antitropical – southern Japan and Hawaii in the north and Rapa and Pitcairn in the south. S. inaequalis Randall and Heemstra has a curious disjunct distribution from present records – oceanic islands of the Indian Ocean and Kiritimati (Christmas Island), Line Islands. S. lepros (Allen and Cross) is a species of southern oceanic islands from Cocos-Keeling to the Pitcairn Group. S. rubrum (Forsskål), on the other hand, is primarily a continental-shelf and large-island species; it is known from the Red Sea and Zanzibar to Japan and New Caledonia. S. macrosquamis Golani and S. seychellense (Smith and Smith) are confined to the western Indian Ocean and S. marisrubri Randall, Golani and Diamant (very similar to the allopatric S. melanospillos) to the Red Sea. S. spinosissimum (Temminck and Schlegel), recorded from Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, is here reported from the Hawaiian Islands from one specimen taken in 230 m. S. wilhelmi (De Buen) is endemic to Easter Island, and S. xantherythrum (Jordan and Evermann) to the Hawaiian Islands and Johnston Island.
Four species are described as new: S. hormion from Pitcairn, Rapa, and Rarotonga is distinct in having 51-56 lateral-line scales, the body with broad red and narrow white stripes, and the spinous dorsal fin red except for white tips and a row of 6 white spots near base of fin. S. iota from Hawaii and Tonga to Christmas Island, Indian Ocean is a small species (largest 75.6 mm SL) with 43-47 lateral-line scales, 3.5 rows of scales above the lateral line, deep body (2.3-2.6 in SL), and overall red color. S. megalops is known from a single specimen, 79 mm SL, taken in 49 m at Henderson Island, Pitcairn Group; it is distinct in having the highest lateral-line scale count of the genus (57-58) and a very large eye (2.6 in head length). S. shimizui is described from 2 specimens collected in the Gulf of Tomini, Sulawesi from the steamer "Albatross" in 1909. Like S. iota, it is small and deep-bodied with 3.5 scales above the lateral line and only one fewer lateral-line scales; it differs in lacking a spine on the surface of the nasal bone and the edge of the premaxillary groove, having 14 instead of 15 pectoral rays, and a projecting lower jaw.
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