Myripristis kuntee is a species belonging to the family Holocentridae within the order Beryciformes. They inhabit the crystalline waters of the coral reefs, where we will generally find them in the surface waters. As a species, its distribution is wide, covering most of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, with the exception of the Red Sea and the waters of the Persian Gulf.
From the body of Myripristis kuntee, its eyes, which occupy a large part of the head region, stand out for their large size. The mouth is in an oblique position and its lower jaw in adult specimens projects slightly when the mouth remains closed. One of the distinctive features of Myripristis kuntee is the presence of a reddish-brown spot that runs along the top of the operculum to the beginning of the base of the pectoral fin. The dorsal fin is separated into two continuous regions, the first has 11 spines and its outer part is orange-yellow, while the second region is formed by 15-17 soft rays and has a reddish-brown spot at its end also present at the end of the anal fin. The anal fin has 4 spines of which the third stands out for its robustness, the fourth being the longest. Following the spines of the anal fin, we find between 14 and 16 soft rays. The maximum size of Myripristis kuntee is 20 cm, although it is normal to find specimens of about 16 cm in length.
We can frequently find Myripristis kuntee forming banks of individuals, usually at the entrance of caves and/or cracks, as well as inside them. By size and characteristics, it is possible to confuse this species with Myripristis pralinia, although in these last ones the spot of the operculum extends only slightly below the opercular spine, and does not arrive at any moment at the base of the pectoral fin.Photos: