CRITTER: Meet ‘ala’ihi the Goldline Squirrelfish

Terry Lilley / Contributed

Meet ‘ala’ihi the Goldline Squirrelfish. The ‘Ala’ihi have large eyes and red colors so they can see well at night.

This eight-inch-long fish with huge eyes and forked tail are common out on the Hawaiian reef, but divers and snorkelers rarely see them. They are usually found in caves and only venture out at night to feed on small shrimp and crabs. If you are out diving, look into a cave in the lava reef with a dive light and you will almost always see these fish darting around, much like a squirrel does up in a tree. There are about 12 species of squirrel fish here in Hawai‘i, and they all look similar, with a variation of colors from yellow, orange to red.