Variola louti   (Forsskal,  1775) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Randall, J.E.

Size: 40-83 cm.

Max. weight reported: 12 kg.

Color: In alcohol specimens brownish or reddish, head, body and fins covered with light spots, which are not always very distinct. Middle parts of caudal often more or less blackish distally and with a white hindborder. In some specimens, probably only in young ones, a broad dark brown band from eye to basal part of caudal. Juveniles conspicuous by the white line over the snout.

Height 2.8-2.9, 3.8-4 in length with caudal. Head 2.5-2.6, 3.3-3.6 in length with caudal. Eye 5.1-6.4, equal to or somewhat more than interorbital space and less than snout. Mouth oblique, maxillary reaching to below hindborder of eye, the width of its distal extremity 1.2-1.5 in eye. Lower jaw projecting. Praeoperculum rounded, its hindborder very finely serrated, the serrae disappearing in old age. Opercular flap obtusely pointed. Middle opercular spine nearer to lower than to upper, lower further back than upper. About 8 gillrakers and some rudiments on lower branch of anterior arch, shorter than gillfringes. Dorsal originating above pectorals, spines increasing in length to the third, which goes 3.3-3.7 in head. Following spines subequal, soft dorsal and soft anal pointed, the longest rays more or less produced in the adult. Third anal spine slightly longer than second, equal to or a little less than second dorsal spine. Pectorals equal to postorbital part of head, ventrals longer, the second soft ray more or less produced in the adult. Caudal crescentically notched, the outer rays more or less produced.
Dorsal spines (total): 9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 13 - 14; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 8.

Protogynous, external fertilization, nonguarders, open water/substratum egg scatterers.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Perca louti Forsskal, 1775
Bodianus louti Bloch and Schneider, 1801
Labrus punctulatus Lacepede, 1802
Bodianus louti Lacepede, 1802
Serranus luti Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1828
Serranus punctulatus Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1833
Serranus louti Ruppell, 1828
Serranus punctulatus Quoy and Gaimard, 1833
Serranus phaenistomus Swainson, 1839
Serranus melanotaenia Bleeker, 1857
Serranus louti Gunther, 1859
Pseudoserranus louti Klunzinger, 1884
Serranus louti Gunther, 1875
Variola flavimarginata Bleeker, 1876
Variola louti Day, 1888
Epinephelus louti Boulenger, 1895
Variola louti Jordan and Seale, 1906
Variola louti M. Weber, 1913
Variola louti Fowler, 1928
Epinephelus louti (Forsskal, 1775)
Labrus punctulatus Lacepede, 1801
Serranus cernipedis Miranda Ribeiro, 1913
Serranus flavimarginatus Ruppell, 1830
Serranus longipinna Swainson, 1839
Serranus louti (Forsskal, 1775)
Serranus luti Valenciennes, 1828
Serranus melanotaenia (Bleeker, 1857)
Serranus phaenistomus Swainson, 1839
Serranus punctulatus (Lacepede, 1801)
Serranus roseus Valenciennes, 1828
Variola longipinna Swainson, 1839
Variola melanotaenia Bleeker, 1857
Variola punctulatus (LacepEde, 1801)

Common Name (s)
• Lunartail Grouper (English)
• Yellow Edged Lyretail (English)
• Moontail Seabass (English)
• Kanduryhou (Mahl)
• Chencheerachammam (Malayalam)
• Kathivalan (Malayalam)
• Yellow-edged Iyretail
• Painted Coral Trout (English)
• Vakhali
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial, Dangers
(Fisheries, gamefish, aquarium. It is highly appreciated for the quality of its flesh.
Reported to cause ciguatera poisoning.)
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(The major threat to it is overfishing.)

Habitat:  Reef Associated
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Fishes, crabs, shrimps, stomatopods and other crustaceans
IUCN Status:  Least Concern


• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti Atoll (Lat: 10.55) (Long: 72.63) INDIA (Record: 01/1991-06/1992)
• Lakshadweep, Amini INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kadamatt INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy INDIA
• Red Sea
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy Island (Lat: 8.11) (Long: 73.3) INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• Gujarat INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Ohman, M; Rajasuriya, A and Olafsson, E (1997) Reef fish assemblages in north western Sri Lanka: Distribution patterns and influences of fishing practises Enviornmental Biology of Fishes Kluwer Academic Publishers 49 45-61
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Weber, M; Beaufort, LF (1931) The fishes of the Indo-Australian Archipelago Print times, Pataudi house, Daryaganj, New Delhi 6 448 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at -
  • Anand, PEV and Pillai, NGK (2003) Habitat distribution and species diversity of coral reef fishes in the reefslope of the Kavaratti atoll, Lakshadweep, India Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 45(1) 88-98 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1980) Fishes of the Laccadive Archipelago The Nature Conservation and Aquatic Sciences Service, Trivandrum, Kerala 760 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Fischer, W and Bianchi, G (Eds.) (1984) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean (Fishing Area 51) FAO, Rome 4 Available at -
  • Jones, S. (1969) Catalogue of fishes from the Laccadive Archipelago in the reference collections of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute. Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 8 1-35 Available at -
  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1959) The fishing industry of Minicoy Island with special reference to the tuna fishery Indian Journal of Fisheries Indian Council of Agricultural Research 6 (1) 30-57 Available at -
  • Talwar, PK (1990) Fishes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands: A synoptic survey Journal of the Andaman Science Association Andaman Science Association, Port Blair 6(2) 71-102 Available at - NIO,Goa
  • Pillai, PKM and Augustine, SK (2000) A code list of common marine living resources of the Indian seas CMFRI Special Publication No.12 CMFRI 1-115 Available at -
  • Dholakia, AD (2004) Marine resources Fisheries and aquatic resources of India Daya publishing house 271-303 Available at - NIO, Goa

Page last updated on:2011-10-24

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