The bigeyes from the Priacanthidae family have, well, big eyes. They are, they put it amazingly and justifiably simple, red fishes with big eyes. They are active only during the night, which accounts for their unusual ocular dimensions. Apart from their phenomenal ocular setting, they possess a stout, compressed body, a continuous dorsal fin and extremely large beaks.

The bigeyes are carnivorous; more specifically omnivorous, feasting on fish, cephalopods and crustaceans. When they gorge on fish only, they do so after sunset. This behaviour earns them the label 'nocturnal', meaning their activity focuses on the darker hours of the day.

The bigeye’s principal coloration is red, ranging from to scarlet to burgundy and from dusky brown to blood and from crimson to redbrick.  This does not apply the their patterned design, sometimes tending to silvery and blackish. The compressed body and the large mouth are typical for the priacanthidae fish .

The bigeye ventures and looms near the rocky outer slopes of reefs. You will rarely see them turn offshore or pelagic though. During the day, they find shelter in coralline crevices, caves and cracks. Interesting of note is that the bigeye can be found at depths not reachable for divers. More than reach the eye...

Family Members

Common Bigeye

Size up to 40 cm (1,30ft) . Depth up to 250m (820 ft)

Its primarily reddish brown body is oval and compressed. The bigeye is a familiar sight on outer reef slopes in large gatherings, by instinct default. The body doesn’t exceed 40 cm in length. They likes caves at depths from 8 to a staggering 250 meters deep, dwelling in groups. They have a predilection for crustaceans, tiny fish and so-called cephalopods. It looks as if it’s pouting all day, the greater lower jaw making the mouth facing upward.


Size up to 30 cm (0,98ft) . Depth up to 300m (984 ft)

The glasseye is a priacanthidae fish with a streamlined and elongate body. It is strictly nocturnal, which accounts for its grand ocular system. At night, it will leave its daily shelter in search for planktonic crustaceans, doing so in company of congeners. Plankton tends to ‘emerge’ from the abyss in the darker hours, hence attracting species the likes of the glasseye. Its body is sort of speckled or ' marbled'  if you like. The glasseye congegrates in groups.