Aspidontus tractus   Fowler,  1903 (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: The Nature Conservation and Aquatic Sciences Service

Size: Max length 10.0 cm TL (male/unsexed)

Color: Body Bluish violet behind the pectoral and brownish yellow anteriorly, pale white on cheek and abdomen. A bluish black stripe from snout through eye to gill opening, broadening posteriorly towards posterior half of body and occupying almost the whole of caudal. Dorsal and anal dark, distal margin of fins white. Caudal broadly bordered above, below and posteriorly by white. A dark bar across lower part of base of pectoral fin. Pectoral and ventral white. A black band from snout to caudal where it spreads completely leaving a white border. Pectoral and ventral pale. A black strip over the lower region of the pectoral origin.

Head 3.7 in standard length, 4.3 in total length. Depth of body 5.4 in standard length, 6.3 in total length. Eye diameter 5.2 in head, 1.6 in snout and a little less than interorbital space. About 30 fixed teeth in each jaw, lower jaw with a canine on either side. Lower edge of gill opening above level of middle of pectoral base. Two pairs of small barbels on chin, those in female smaller than in the male. Dorsal and anal fins joined to base of caudal fin. Longest pectoral ray equal to postorbital length of head. Ventral fin equal to snout and eye together. Number of spines and rays in the dorsal fin: XI, 27; number of spines and rays in the anal fin: II, 26; number of rays in the pectoral fin: 14; number of spines and rays in the ventral fin: I, 4. Head pointed, eye smaller than snout. Well developed teeth in both jaws. A strongly curved canine at the hind end of the lower jaw. Gill opening small, extends down before pectoral base. Small barbels three in number on each side of lower jaw. Spines of both dorsal and anal weak. Pectoral broad. Ventral short.

Dioecious, external fertilization, guarders. Oviparous, distinct pairing. Eggs are demersal and adhesive.

Exact mimic of Labroides dimidiatus, the cleaner wrasse and feeds on the fins of fish that mistake it for the cleaner wrasse.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Aspidontus filamentosus (Valenciennes, 1836)
(Junior synonym)
Aspidontus taeniatus (non Quoy & Gaimard, 1834)
(Misapplied name)
Aspidontus taeniatus tractus Fowler, 1903
(Senior synonym)
Aspidontus tractus Fowler, 1903
(Senior synonym)
Blennechis filamentosus Valenciennes, 1836
(Junior synonym)
Aspidontus (Aspidontus) tractus Smith, 1959

Common Name (s)
• Haran Kali
• Mimic Blenny (English)
Economic Importance and Threats

Habitat:  Reef Associated, Coastal


• Lakshadweep, Kadamatt INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy INDIA
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• Kerala, Vizhinjam INDIA
• South West Coast INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Wafar, MVM (2003) Checklists of reef fauna 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
  • 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 -
  • Kuthalingam, MDK; Rajagopalan, MS; Sreenivasan, PV; Lazarus, S and Livingston, P (1973) On some interesting fishes from the southwest coast of India Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India Marine Biological Association of India 15 (2) 877-881 Available at -
  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1965) New records of fishes from the seas around India - Part II Journal of Marine Biological Association of India Marine Biological Association of India 7(1) 108-123 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 -

Page last updated on:2011-03-10

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