Cheilinus fasciatus   (Bloch,  1791) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Randall, J.E.

Size: 34.3-40 cm.

Color: In preserved specimens reddish brown, opercular region and belly generally lighter, yellowish. Some scales behind eye with a black mark, a similar streak along hind border of operculum and at base of pectorals. Head with white stripes and anastomosing lines, partly broken up into spots, radiating from eye. Scales of anterior part of side more or less speckled with dark brown. Seven light yellow transverse bands, one scale broad, the first on nape, the second to fourth from spinous dorsal, the fourth running to origin of anal. The fifth from soft dorsal to soft anal, the sixth on caudal peduncle, just behind dorsal and anal, and the seventh, which is much broader, at base of caudal. Spinous dorsal light reddish brown, with narrow white longitudinal bands, sinuous stripes and spots. Soft dorsal yellowish brown, with a large dark blotch in the middle of its base, its outer border broadly dark brown, with numerous spots. Anal light brown, with numerous light spots and wavy lines, which also spread on the body. Soft anal with two dorsal black blotches, corresponding to the inter spaces between the 4th-5th and 5th-6th light transverse bands, otherwise light brown, becoming darker towards the outer border and covered with light spots as the spinous part of the anal. Pectorals hyaline. Ventrals light, darker at base. Caudal yellowish, with a dark basal and a still darker marginal band, spotted with yellowish, the rays, the prolonged outer ones included, yellowish brown.

Height 2.3-2.6, 2.9-3.5 in length with caudal. Head 2.5-2.9, 3.4-3.7 in length with caudal. Height of head equal to its length. Eye 4.4-7, 1.5-2.3 in convex inter orbital space and 1.9-3.4 in snout, the upper profile of which is convex. Lips thick. Chin prominent in large specimens. Mouth slightly oblique, moderate, maxillary not quite reaching to below front border of eye. A single row of conical teeth in the jaws, with two strong curved canines anteriorly in each jaw. Teeth white. Preopercle smooth, with two strong transverse rows of scales, leaving the posterior and inferior limb naked. Scales beginning on upper part of head above anterior half of eyes. Seven rows of scales before dorsal. Dorsal spines increasing in size posteriorly, the first equal to eye, the last equal to post orbital part of head. The membranes between the spines are not incised in adults. Soft dorsal higher than spinous part, rounded or slightly pointed, the 6th-8th rays longest, equal to head without snout. Origin of anal below 8th dorsal spine. First anal spine shortest, third longest, equal to post orbital part of head. Soft anal deeper than spinous part, rounded in young, pointed in older specimens, the 5th-6th rays being longest and equal to snout and eye together or even longer. Dorsal and anal with a well developed scaly sheath. Pectorals rounded, as long as head without snout. Ventrals slightly pointed, as long as snout in adults, equal to snout and eye in young specimens. Caudal rounded in young, in adults the outer upper and lower rays much produced. Dorsal spines (total): 9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 10; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 8.

Small juveniles often mistaken for Wetmorella sp. Because of the thin vertical white barring. Large individuals develop bright red areas and males have extended caudal fin lobes.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Sparus fasciatus Bloch, 1791
Labrus enneacanthus Lacepede, 1802
Cheilinus fasciatus Ruppell, 1837
Cheilinus fasciatus Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1839
Cheilinus fasciatus Bleeker, 1862
Cheilinus fasciatus Gunther, 1862
Cheilinus fasciatus Kner, 1867
Cheilinus fasciatus Gunther, 1866
Chilinus fasciatus Klunzinger, 1871
Chilinus fasciatus Gunther, 1881
Chelilinus enneacanthus Fowler, 1904
Chelilinus fasciatus Jordan and Seale, 1906
Cheilinus fasciatus Seale, 1906
Cheilinus fasciatus Snyder, 1912
Wetmorella philippina Fowler and Bean, 1928
Cheilinus fasciatus Fowler, 1931
Cheilinus fasciatus Whitley, 1931
Cheilinus fasciatus Herre, 1936
Cheilinus fasciatus Day, 1878
Cheilinus fasciatus fasciatus (Bloch, 1791)
Sparus fasciatus Bloch, 1791

Common Name (s)
• Redbreasted Wrasse (English)
• Fehihikkae
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries, marketed fresh; aquarium)

Habitat:  Reef Associated, Rocky, Sandy
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Mainly on benthic, hard-shelled invertebrates, including mollusks, crustaceans and sea urchins.


• Lakshadweep, Minicoy INDIA
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• Red Sea
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Port Blair 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
  • James, C; O'Farrell, S; Hamylton, S; Ingwersen, C and Walker, R The coral reef resources of Mu Ko Surin national park, Thailand Coral Cay Conservation Available at -
  • (1994) The effect of artificial reef installation on the biosocioeconomics of small scale fisheries in Ranong province, Thailand Bay of Bengal Programme 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/
  • 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
  • Kemp, JM (1998) Zoogeography of the coral reef fishes of the Socotra Archipelago Journal of Biogeography 25 919-933
  • Allen, GR and Mohammed, A (2003) Coral Reef Fishes of Indonesia Zoological Studies 42(1) 26299 Available at - Digital Information Resource Center, Pune.
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • 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
  • 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 -
  • 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 -
  • Rao, DV; Devi, K and Rajan, PT (1992) Some new records of wrasses ( Family: Labridae) from A&N Islands Journal of the Andaman science association Andaman science association, Port Blair 8(1) 43-46 Available at - NIO, Goa

Page last updated on:2011-05-11

Back to Search