Cheilinus oxycephalus   Bleeker,  1853 (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Randall, J.E.

Size: 16.3 cm.

Color: In preserved specimens brownish, sometimes with green reflections on operculum, and along base of dorsal and anal. In a large specimen the head is dotted with white, with exception of the snout. A row of four brown spots in median line of sides, the first behind head, the second behind pectorals, the third between end of dorsal and anal, and the fourth at base of caudal. These spots are not always distinct. A dark brown patch between first and second dorsal spines. spinous dorsal with a narrow brown submarginal longitudinal band and traces of a second band below it. Anal with a reddish brown broad longitudinal band, getting obsolete posteriorly. Pectorals hyaine. Ventrals brownish. Caudal with a few brown transverse bands posteriorly. All spines and rays, excepting those of pectorals, green. Upper lip with two brownish spots on either side just behind tip. Spinous dorsal greenish with a narrow submarginal band and a dark brown spot between first and second spines. Caudal brownish with some brown transverse bars. Pectoral hyaline. Ventral greenish brown.

Height 2.3-2.6, 2.8-3.2 in length with caudal. Head 2.6-2.7, 3.2-3.3 in length with caudal. Height of head equal to its length. Eye 5-5.5, 1.2-1.4 in somewhat convex inter orbital space and 1.6-1.8 in snout, the profile of which is concave. Mouth small, very oblique. Maxillary ending far before eyes. A single row of conical teeth in the jaws, with two canines anteriorly in each jaw. Teeth white. Preopercle smooth, with two transverse rows of scales, leaving only the posterior edge naked. Scales on upper part of head beginning above middle of eyes. Six rows of scales before dorsal. Dorsal spines gently increasing in length posteriorly, the last about equal to post orbital part of head, not shorter than anterior rays. The membranes between the spines incised and lobate in young. Soft dorsal rounded. Origin of anal below 8th or 9 th dorsal spines. First anal spine shortest, third longest, equal to snout or somewhat longer. Soft anal rounded. Dorsal and anal with a well developed scaly sheath at base. Pectorals rounded, equal to snout and eye, as long as ventrals in young, in adults the ventrals are much pointed and one eye diameter longer than pectorals. Two rows of scales on preopercle, hind edge naked. Dorsal spines increasing gradually in length posteriorly, the last as long as twice eye diameter. Pectoral slightly longer than postorbital length of head. Ventral slightly shorter than pectoral.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Cheilinus oxycephalus Gunther, 1862
Chilinus oxycephalus M. Weber, 1895
Cheilinus oxycephalus Jordan and Richardson, 1908
Cheilinus oxycephalus M. Weber, 1913
Cheilinus oxycephalus Fowler and Bean, 1928
Cheilinus oxycephalus Fowler, 1928
Cheilinus oxycephalus Bleeker, 1853

Common Name (s)
• Snooty Wrasse (English)
• Chavarichoran (Malayalam)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial

Habitat:  Reef Associated
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer


• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti INDIA
• Lakshadweep INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Wafar, MVM (2003) Checklists of reef fauna Available at -
  • 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.
  • Beaufort, LF (1940) The fishes of the Indo-Australian Archipelago A. J. Reprints agency, Karol Bagh, New Delhi 8 508 pp 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
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1970) New records of fishes from the seas around India - part VII Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India Marine Biological Association of India 12(1-2) 187-196 Available at -

Page last updated on:2011-02-18

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