Iniistius pavo   (Valenciennes,  1840) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Randall, J.E.

Size: Max length 41.0 cm TL (male/unsexed)

Color: Pale yellowish with three or four broad brown cross bands on body. Sometimes a large black ocellus on the scale above the 7th lateral line scale. Dorsal pale yellowish with brownish oblique stripes and sometimes with a dusky marginal band.Other fins pale yellowish.

Head 3.0-3.3 in standard length, 3.5-3.8 in total length. Depth of body 2.7-3.0 in standard length, 3.3-3.5 in total length. Eye diameter 2.0-2.5 in snout and equal to or slightly more than interorbital space. Teeth in jaws conical, the anterior two in each jaw curved canines. First two anterior dorsal fin spines long and flexible, separated from the remainder of the fin and situated over the head. Pectoral and ventral fins subequal, equal to or shorter than postorbital part of head and half eye diameter together. Lateral line interrupted. Cheeks practically naked.
Number of spines in the first dorsal fin: II; number of spines and rays in the second dorsal fin: VII, 12-13; number of spines and rays in the anal fin: III, 12-13; number of rays in the pectoral fin: ii, 10; number of spines and rays in the ventral fin: I, 5; number of scale rows along the lateral line: 20-21+5-6; 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+9-10.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Hemipteronotus pavo (Valenciennes, 1840)
(Senior synonym)
Hemipteronotus pavoninus (Valenciennes, 1840)
(Junior synonym)
Iniistius pavoninus (Valenciennes, 1840)
(Junior synonym)
Novacula tetrazona Bleeker, 1859
(Junior synonym)
Xyrichthys pavoninus Valenciennes, 1840
(Junior synonym)
Xyrichtys pavo Valenciennes, 1840
(Senior synonym)
Xyrichtys tetrazona (Bleeker, 1859)
(Junior synonym)
Xyrichthys pavo Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1839
Iniistius pavo de Beaufort, 1940
Inistius pavo Munro, 1955
Inistius pavo (Valenciennes, 1840)
Xirichthys pavo Valenciennes, 1840

Common Name (s)
• Balala (Malayalam)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries, gamefish, aquarium.)

Habitat:  Benthic, Bentho Pelagic, Reef Associated
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Hard shelled invertebrates, including mollusks and crustaceans


• Lakshadweep, Agatti INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kadamatt INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti INDIA
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• Red Sea
• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti Island (Lat: 10.56) (Long: 72.95) INDIA (Record: 03/1954)

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 -
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp 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 -
  • Balan, V (1958) Notes on a visit to certain islands of the Laccadive Archipelago, with special reference to fisheries Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society Bombay Natural History Society 55 (2) 297-306 Available at -

Page last updated on:2011-03-18

Back to Search