Grammistes sexlineatus   (Thunberg,  1792) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: T. Suzuki

Size: 20-30 cm.

Color: Body dark brown with yellow stripes, small juveniles with spots, specimens up to 5 cm SL with 3 stripes, specimens at least 8 cm SL with 6 stripes, the number of stripes increases and may break into a series of dashes in large adults.

Height 2.4-2.6, 3-3.1 in length with caudal. Head 2.4-2.9, 3.1-3.3 in length with caudal. Eye 4.2-5, equal to snout or slightly less than snout. Interorbital space somewhat convex, five seventh of eye in small specimens, almost equal to eye in larger ones. Mouth very oblique, lower jaw somewhat projecting, with a rudimentary dermal appendage on the chin. Small teeth in four to five rows in jaws in a triangular patch on vomer and in two rows on palatines. Tongue smooth. Three or four separate spines along hindborder of praeoperculum. Operculum with three spines. Origin of dorsal slightly behind base of pectorals. Dorsal spines covered with thick skin, second and third spine somewhat longer than the others, slightly shorter than longest soft rays and about equal to one and a half diameter of eye. Origin of anal about below middle of soft portion of dorsal. Dorsal and anal rounded. Caudal rounded. Pectorals rounded, equal to or somewhat longer than postorbital part of head. Ventrals somewhat shorter, their spine thick, covered by skin and half as long as the longest soft ventral ray. Caudal peduncle about as long as broad, its least height equal to eye and snout.

Has toxin-producing glands in the dermis which is extremely bitter to the taste.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Grammistes orientalis Bloch & Schneider, 1801
(Junior synonym)
Scianea vittata Lacepede, 1802
(Junior synonym)
Bodianus sexlineatus Lacepede, 1802
Centropomus sexlineatus Lacepede, 1803
Grammistes orientalis Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1828
Grammistes orientalis Bleeker, 1853
Grammistes orientalis Gunther, 1859
Grammistes orientalis Klunzinger, 1870
Grammistes orientalis Gunther, 1875
Grammistes orientalis Bleeker, 1874
Grammistes orientalis Day, 1888
Grammistes orientalis Macleay, 1881
Grammistes sexlineatus Klunzinger, 1884
Grammistes sexlineatus Boulenger, 1895
Grammistes sexlineatus Jordan and Seale, 1906
Grammistes sexlineatus Gilchrist and Thompson, 1908
Grammistes sexlineatus Pellegrin, 1914
Grammistes sexlineatus Barnard, 1927
Grammistes sexlineatus Fowler, 1928
Perca sexlineata Thunberg, 1792
(Senior synonym)

Common Name (s)
• Black and White Striped Soapfish (English)
• Goldenstriped Soapfish (English)
• Goldstriped Soapfish (English)
• Lined Soapfish (English)
• Sixstripe Soapfish (English)
• Skunkfish (English)
• Soapfish (English)
• Yellowstriped Soapfish (English)
• Haravalufana (Mahl)
• Kotha (Malayalam)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial, Dangers
(Aquarium, fisheries, marketed fresh
Causes ciguatera poisoning.)

Habitat:  Reef Associated, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Fishes, benthic crustaceans


• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti Atoll (Lat: 10.55) (Long: 72.63) INDIA (Record: 01/1991-06/1992)
• Lakshadweep, Agatti INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kalpeni INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kadamatt INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy INDIA
• Red Sea
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, North Reef Island INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti Atoll INDIA (Record: 01/1991-06/1992)
• 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
  • Devi, K and Rao, DV (2003) Poisonous and venomous fishes of Andaman Islands, Bay of Bengal Occasional paper no 211 Records of The Zoolgical Survey of India ZSI, Calcutta 25934 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Heemstra, E; Heemstra, P; Smale, M; Hoopers, T and Pelicier, D (2004) Preliminary checklist of coastal fishes from the Mauritian island of Rodrigues Journal of natural history Taylor and Francis 38(23-24) 3315 - 3350 Available at - index/
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Letourneur, Y; Chabanet, P; Durville, P; Taquet, M; Teissier, E; Parmentier, M; Quero, JC and Pothin, K (2004) An updated checklist of the marine fish fauna of Reunion Island, south-western Indian Ocean Cybium 28(3) 199-216
  • Durville, P; Chabanet, P and Quod, JP (2003) Visual Census of the Reef Fishes in the Natural Reserve of the Glorieuses Islands (Western Indian Ocean) Western Indian Ocean J. Mar. Sci. WIOMSA 2 95-104
  • Allen, GR and Mohammed, A (2003) Coral Reef Fishes of Indonesia Zoological Studies 42(1) 26299 Available at - Digital Information Resource Center, Pune.
  • Garpe, KC and Ohman, MC (2003) Coral and fish distribution patterns in Mafia Island marine park Tanzania fish habitat interactions Hydrobiologia Kluwer Academic Publishers 498 191-211 Available at - NIO, RC Kochi
  • Rodney, J (1985) Population fluctuations in some ornamental fishes and invertebrates off Sri Lanka Proceedings of the symposium on endangered marine animals and marine parks Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 1 355-366 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • 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
  • 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 2 Available at -
  • FishPix Available at -
  • Rao, GC; Rao, DV and Devi, K (1994) A faunal exploration of the North Reef Island sanctuary, North Andaman Journal of the Andaman Science Association Andaman Science Association, Port Blair 10(1&2) 68-81 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • 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 -
  • Anand, PEV and Pillai, NGK (2004) Community organization of reef fishes in the live coral sub-habitat of Kavaratti atoll, Lakshadweep, India Indian Journal of Fisheries Indian Journal of Fisheries for the Indian Council of Agricultural Research 51(1) 87-95 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

Page last updated on:2011-07-21

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