Halichoeres argus   (Bloch & Schneider,  1801) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Randall, J.E.

Size: 11-12 cm. TL

Color: Light pinkish, body reticulated. A dark band from upper lip to eye and another from chin to below eye, bifurcating, one branch vertically behind the eye and the other downwards over preopercle and opercle. A dark bar on the upper part of opercle and an elongate dark blotch below this. Scales above lateral line with a dark centre excepting one scale each below 5th and 8th dorsal spines, 4th and 9th dorsal ray and posterior to the base of the last dorsal ray. Body below the lateral line with a reticulated appearance. Dorsal dark brown with three rows of light ocelli. Anal brown with a row of light spots basally, a median longitudinal light band and a row of small light ocelli distally. Caudal yellowish, distal portion dark. Ventral hyaline, membrane between first and second rays dark.

Head 3.1 in standard length, 3.7 in total length. Depth of body 3.0 in standard length, 3.6 in total length. Snout about 3.2 in head. Eye diameter 1.7 in snout and 1.2 in slightly convex interorbital space. Teeth somewhat conical, in a single row in jaws, a pair of canines anteriorly in each jaw. A canine at corner of mouth. Pectoral fins shorter than head without snout. Ventral fin with the first ray produced, slightly longer than pectoral fin. Lateral line continuous. Maxillary not reaching to below anterior nostrils. Head naked, excepting above, where the scales being above or slightly behind hind border of eye. Ten to twelve rows of scales before dorsal, these scales much smaller than those of the body. Similar small scales between isthmus and base of ventrals. Dorsal spines stiff and pungent, the first as long as eye, the last as long as snout. Soft dorsal slightly higher than spinous part, truncate behind. First anal spine minute, third longest, somewhat more than eye. Soft anal similar to soft dorsal. Pectorals about equal to head without snout. Ventrals sometimes with the first ray produced and in that case as long as pectorals, if not, equal to snout and eye together. Caudal rounded.
Number of spines and rays in the dorsal fin: IX, 12; number of spines and rays in the anal fin: III, 12; number of rays in the pectoral fin: ii, 12; number of spines and rays in the ventral fin: I, 5; number of scale rows along the lateral line: 28; number of horizontal scale rows usually counted from origin of the dorsal fin to the lateral line and from anal origin to the lateral line: 2+1+9.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Halichoeres fijiensis Herre, 1935
(Junior synonym)
Halichoeres guttatus (non Gmelin, 1789)
(Misapplied name)
Halichoeres leparensis (Bleeker, 1852)
(Junior synonym)
Julis leparensis Bleeker, 1852
(Junior synonym)
Julis polyophthalmus Bleeker, 1852
(Junior synonym)
Labrus argus Bloch & Schneider, 1801
(Senior synonym)
Labrus guttatus (non Gmelin, 1789)
(Misapplied name)
Halichoeres argus de Beaufort, 1940
Labrus guttatus Bloch, 1791
Julis argus Bennett, 1828
Julis argus Bleeker, 1849
Julis (Halichoeres) polyophthalmus Bleeker, 1852
Julis (Halichoeres) argus Bleeker, 1860
Halichoeres guttatus Bleeker, 1862
Platyglossus guttatus Gunther, 1862
Halichoeres argus Jordan and Seale, 1907
Platyglossus guttatus Gunther, 1909
Platyglossus guttatus M. Weber, 1913
Halichoeres argus Fowler and Bean, 1928
Halichoeres argus Fowler, 1928

Common Name (s)
• Nihola (Malayalam)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Aquarium, fisheries, ornamental fish)

Habitat:  Reef Associated, Rocky


• Lakshadweep, Kadamatt INDIA
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Havelock INDIA
• Lakshadweep Islands INDIA (Record: 11/1993-01/1997)

Literature Source(s)
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at - http://www.marinespecies.org
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at - http://www.fishbase.org
  • 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
  • Beaufort, LF (1940) The fishes of the Indo-Australian Archipelago A. J. Reprints agency, Karol Bagh, New Delhi 8 508 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1964) New records of fishes from the seas around India - Part I Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India Marine Biological Association of India 6(2) 285-306 Available at - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/1507/1/Jones_285-306.pdf
  • 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 - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/569/1/Bulletin_8.pdf
  • Rao, DV; Devi, K and Rajan, PT (1992) Some new records of wrasses ( Family: Labridae) from A&N Islands Journal of the Andaman science association Andaman science association, Port Blair 8(1) 43-46 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Murty, VS (2002) Marine ornamental fish resources of Lakshadweep CMFRI Special Publication CMFRI 72 1-134 Available at - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/3536/1/Special_Publication_No_72.pdf

Page last updated on:2011-05-11

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