Thalassoma purpurea   (Forsskal,  1775) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: The Nature Conservation and Aquatic Sciences Service

Size: 112-245 mm

Color: Usually green above, blue below with one brownish violet band from nape to upper margin of caudal and two purple horizontal bands from behind opercle to caudal base. Head purple with narrow dark triangular mark on snout. A broad pinkish band from behind eye obliquely downwards, bifurcating and ending on subopercular border. Operculum bordered above with a light pinkish band. A pink band along base of pectoral, sometimes joining the lower horizontal band on body. Dorsal fin greenish with a dark median horizontal line and a dark spot present in some between first and third dorsal spines. Anal greenish with a dark sub-basal band and an orange margin. Upper margin and tip of pectoral blackish. Caudal bluish green.

Head 2.8-3.1 in standard length, 3.4-3.9 in total length. Depth of body 2.9-3.2 in standard length, 3.6-3.9 in total length. Snout 2.4-2.7 in head. Eye diameter 2.3-2.8 in snout and 1.4-1.7 in convex interorbital space. Teeth in a single series in jaws, the two anterior ones in both jaws strong and curved canines. Dorsal fin spines short and the soft dorsal higher than the spinous part. First anal fin spine minute or sometimes wanting. Lateral line continuous. Three or four scales on upper part of operculum. Pectoral fin slightly shorter than head without snout. Caudal fin slightly rounded, often with somewhat produced lobes.
Number of spines and rays in the dorsal fin: VIII, 13; number of spines and rays in the anal fin: II-III, 11; number of rays in the pectoral fin: ii, 14; number of spines and rays in the ventral fin: I, 5; number of scale rows along the lateral line: 27-29; 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: 3+1+9-11.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Scarus purpureus Forskal 1775
Julis purpurea Day 1878
Thalassoma purpurea Munro 1955
Thalassoma purpureum de Beaufort 1940

Common Name (s)
• Nuhikkae
• Pattunulan
• Nhola
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Ornamental fish)



• Lakshadweep, Bitra INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Chettalatt INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Suheli INDIA
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• Lakshadweep Islands INDIA (Record: 11/1993-01/1997)
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy Island (Lat: 8.11) (Long: 73.3) INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • 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
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Murty, VS (2002) Marine ornamental fish resources of Lakshadweep CMFRI Special Publication CMFRI 72 1-134 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 -

Page last updated on:2011-06-02

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