Divers are most likely to spot an active Squirrelfish during a Key West Snorkeling vacation if they are in the water at twilight or during the night because this variety of sea creature is nocturnal. In fact, their very large and dark round eyes, which remind many divers of the kind of squirrels that haunt backyard trees, are one of their most distinguishing features and enable these creatures to hunt for their next meal even when there is little to no light available. Another distinguishing feature of the Squirrelfish, which are members of the genus of fish known as Holocentridae, are their spike-shaped fins which almost look like a fan spread across their spine.
They enjoy hiding out and resting during daylight hours in the darkest recesses of tropical warm water reefs in depths ranging from anywhere along the shoreline to as much as 300 feet deep. Key West Snorkeling participants can also keep an eye out for Squirrelfish hiding out in caves and under ledges. It can be difficult to tell one Squirrelfish from another as they don't have much variation in color. Their bodies are predominantly reddish-orange, accented by stripes running in a horizontal direction that are either silver or gold. Snorkelers usually can spot Squirrelfish easily because of their big dorsal fins that resemble a Mohawk haircut.