Parapercis hexophthalma   (Cuvier,  1829) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Andreas Heinz

Size: 23-29 cm.

Color: The fish is easily identified by the large black blotch on the tail. Body and head are spotted, except in large males that feature lines on the cheek instead. Upper third of body greenish to brownish grey, flecked with dark brown, the lower two-thirds white with 3 or 4 longitudinal rows of small dark brown spots, sometimes linked by narrow dark stripes except lower row as discrete yellow-edged black spots. Caudal fin is with a very large black spot centrobasally in fin.

Height 5.5, 6.5 in length with caudal. Head 3.5, 4.2 in length with caudal. Eye rather superior, 5.2 in snout and about equal to flat inter orbital space. Mouth horizontal. Maxillary reaching to below anterior part of eye. Lips thick, fleshy. Small teeth in villi form bands in the jaws, with an outer row of larger pointed teeth, some of which are caninoid, especially among the lateral ones in the lower jaw. Vomer with a patch of teeth, consisting of several rows, those of the anterior row larger than the others. Snout naked. Anterior nostril tubular with a short flap. Preopercle covered with small scales, more or less imbedded in the skin. Opercle scaly. Scales on upper part of head beginning behind eye. Hind border of preopercle slightly rough. Opercle with two flat spines. Third and fourth dorsal spine sub equal, longest about equal to eye. Fifth spine two thirds of fourth. Middle dorsal rays longest, equal to head without snout. Membranes between the rays deeply incised. Origin of anal below fifth dorsal ray. Anal spine inbedded in the skin, about half length of first ray. Anal similar to the dorsal in depth, the membranes between the rays in both fins deeply incised. End of anal below end of dorsal. Last rays of both fins reaching on caudal when depressed. Pectorals half length of snout shorter than head. Ventrals with the fourth ray by far the longest, longer than pectorals, but shorter than head. Caudal truncate. Last membrane of spinous portion of dorsal fin connected to first dorsal-fin ray nearly at height of fifth dorsal-fin spine. Dorsal spines (total): 5 - 5, Dorsal soft rays (total): 21 - 22, Anal spines: 1, Anal soft rays: 17-18.

Often found in haremic social groups dominated by single territorial males.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Parapercis hexophthalma (Cuvier, 1829)
Parapercis polyophthalma (Ehrenberg, 1829)
Parapercis polyopthalma Cuvier, 1829
Percis hexophtalma Cuvier, 1829
Percis hexophthalma Ehrenberg, 1829
Percis polyophthalma Ehrenberg, 1829
Percis cylindrica Ruppell, 1828
Percis polyophthalmus Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1829
Percis caudimaculata Ruppell, 1835
Percis caudimaculata Bleeker, 1849
Percis hexophthalma Montrouzier, 1856
Percis hexophthalma Gunther, 1860
Percis polyophthalma Playfair, 1866
Percis hexophthalmus Bleeker, 1868
Parapercis hexophthalmus Bleeker, 1868
Percis polyophthalma Klunzinger, 1870
Percis caudimaculatum Haly, 1875
Percis hexophthalma Day, 1876
Percis polyphthalma Klunzinger, 1884
Parapercis hexophthalma M. Weber, 1913
Parapercis hexophthalma Barnard, 1927
Parapercis hexophthalma Fowler, 1928
Parapercis (Chilias) hexophthalmus McCulloch, 1929
Parapercis hexophthalma Fortonese, 1935
Parapercis hexophthalma Martin and Montalban, 1935
Percis hexophthalma Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1829
Parapercis hexophthalma Smith, 1949

Common Name (s)
• Spotted Sandmelt (English)
• Speckled Sandperch (English)
• Ocellated Grubfish (English)
• Blacktail Sandmelt (English)
• Sudung
• Valakka
• Spotted Sand Smelt
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries, aquarium, ornamental fish)

Habitat:  Reef Associated
Trophic Level:  Tertiary Consumer
Prey:  Feeds on nekton, zooplankton, zoobenthos


• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andaman Islands (Lat: 10) (Long: 93) INDIA
• Lakshadweep (Lat: 11) (Long: 72.5) INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti Atoll (Lat: 10.55) (Long: 72.63) INDIA (Record: 01/1991-06/1992)
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andamans INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Agatti INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy INDIA
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• Red Sea
• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti INDIA (Record: 06/03/1987-01/04/1987)
• Lakshadweep Islands INDIA (Record: 11/1993-01/1997)
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Wafar, MVM (2003) Checklists of reef fauna Available at -
  • Rao, DV; Devi, K and Rajan, PT (2000) An account of ichthyofauna of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Bay of Bengal Occasional paper no 178 Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI, Calcutta 1-434 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Ocean Biogeographic Information System Available at -
  • Rouphael, T; Turak, E and Jon, B Seagrasses and mangroves of Yemen's Red Sea 41-89
  • Allen, GR and Mohammed, A (2003) Coral Reef Fishes of Indonesia Zoological Studies 42(1) 26299 Available at - Digital Information Resource Center, Pune.
  • Anand, PEV and Pillai, NGK (2007) Coral reef fish abundance and diversity of seagrass beds in Kavaratti atoll, Lakshadweep, India Indian Journal of Fisheries Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Cochin 54 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp 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
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Beaufort, LF and Chapman, WM (1951) The fishes of the Indo-Australian Archipelago A. J. Reprints agency, Karol Bagh, New Delhi 9 484 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • PBase Available at -
  • 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
  • Kumaran, M; Murty, VS and Lalmohan, RS (1989) Resources of ornamental fishes Marine living resources of the union territory of Lakshadweep: An indicative survey with suggestions for development Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI 43 46-64 Available at -
  • Murty, VS (2002) Marine ornamental fish resources of Lakshadweep CMFRI Special Publication CMFRI 72 1-134 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 -

Page last updated on:2011-12-05

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