As a group, the beryciform fishes are found in tropical, subtropical, and temperate waters nearly around the globe. The
Schooling in whitetip soldierfish. (Illustration by Wendy Baker)
The Holocentridae is the largest family within the Beryciformes. Encompassing both the squirrelfishes and soldier-fishes, fishes in this family are typified by a reddish color from head to tail and a noticeably forked tail. The trailing edges of their scales often have spines (called spinoid scales); some have spines on their gill covers.
Fishes in the family Anomalopidae, the flashlight or lantern-eye fishes, are distinguished primarily by the obvious light or-
holocentrids occur worldwide in tropical waters, although some venture further north or south. The alfoncinos and red-fishes, spinyfins, and fangtooths prefer tropical to temperate waters worldwide. The pineapplefishes share this affinity, but remain in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The flashlightfishes occur in the tropical seas from the western Atlantic to the Pacific; the roughy family favors the waters around Australia.
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