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

Image copyrights: Mya Than Tun

Size: 26-30 cm.

Color: In preserved specimens brown, distal part of caudal peduncle and sometimes also a saddle just behind dorsal much lighter. Head with numerous spots (red in life), forming lines and anastomosing figures on snout and often also round eye and on occiput. Sometimes the spots extend also on the body. Spinous dorsal brown, with a narrow dark upper border, followed by a broader white band and a second, narrow one at some distance below it. Soft dorsal dark anteriorly, white or yellowish posteriorly. Spinous part of anal colored as spinous dorsal. Soft anal dark brown, freckled with white. Caudal dark at base, lighter distally, with numerous white spots, which are encircled by dark, forming rows of small ocelli distally. All spines and rays of vertical fins greenish. Ventrals dark, spotted with white, the rays greenish. Pectorals light yellowish. In young specimens the body is crossed by 4 broad cloudy dark brown bars, the first from origin of dorsal through base of pectorals, the second below median part of spinous dorsal, the third through anterior part of soft dorsal to middle of anal, the fourth on caudal peduncle. Sometimes these bands are represented by dark spots on sides only, which may remain in older specimens.

Height 2.2-2.6, 2.8-3.3 in length with caudal. Head 2.5-3, 3.2-3.8 in length with caudal. Height of head 1-1.1 in its length. Eye 4.8-7.1, 1.7-2.5 in snout and 1.3-1.6 in convex inter orbital space. Chin slightly prominent. Lip thick, plated. Mouth oblique. Maxillary not reaching to below eye. Conical teeth in a single row in both jaws, with two canines anteriorly in each jaw. Teeth green. Praeoperculum with 2 transverse rows of scales, smooth, its lower limb naked. Scales on upper part of head beginning above middle of eye. Six rows of scales before dorsal. Dorsal spine strong but short, slightly increasing in length posteriorly, the membranes between the spines deeply incised, forming free rounded lobes behind each spine. In old specimens however the membrane is scarcely incised. Soft dorsal much higher than spinous part, the 6th and 7th rays longest, much so in adult specimens, where this fin in pointed. Origin of anal below 8th or 9th dorsal spine. First anal spine shortest, third longest and equal to snout or to snout and eye. Soft anal similar to soft dorsal, rounded in young, much pointed in adults. Scaly sheath of dorsal and anal well developed. Pectorals rounded, equal to post orbital part of head. Ventrals with the first ray produced in adults, half diameter of snout shorter than head, rounded and much shorter in young. Caudal rounded, in adult the upper and lower rays are much produced and the fin is trilobate.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Sparus chlorurus Bloch, 1791
Cheilinus punctatus Bennett, 1831
Cheilinus quinquecinctus Ruppell, 1835
Cheilinus punctulatus Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1839
Cheilinus quinquecinctus Bleeker, 1845
Cheilinus guttatus Bleeker, 1849
Cheilinus decacanthus Bleeker, 1851
Cheilinus chlorurus Bleeker, 1862
Cheilinus punctatus Gunther, 1862
Cheilinus chlorurus Kner, 1867
Cheilinus chlorurus Day, 1877
Chilinus chlorurus Gunther, 1881
Chilinus chlorurus Macleay, 1881
Chilinus chlorurus Steindachner, 1901
Thalliurus chlorurus Seale, 1906
Thalliurus chlorurus Jordan and Seale, 1906
Thalliurus chlorurus Snyder, 1912
Chilinus chlorurus Barnard, 1927
Cheilinus chlorurus Fowler and Bean, 1928
Cheilinus chlorurus Fowler, 1928
Cheilinus chlorourus Herre, 1936
Cheilinus chlorourus Fowler, 1938
Cheilinus chlorurus Day, 1878
Thalliurus chlorurus Smith, 1949

Common Name (s)
• Floral Wrasse (English)
• Thokka
• Chavarichoran
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Marketed fresh or frozen)

Habitat:  Reef Associated, Demersal
Prey:  Molluscs, crustaceans and sea urchins


• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti Atoll (Lat: 10.55) (Long: 72.63) INDIA (Record: 01/1991-06/1992)
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andamans INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy INDIA
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Bitra INDIA (Record: 09/02/1987-25/02/1987)
• Lakshadweep, Bangaram INDIA (Record: 09/02/1987-25/02/1987)
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Wafar, MVM (2003) Checklists of reef fauna Available at -
  • Hutomo, M and Martosewojo, S (1977) The fishes of seagrass community on the west side of Burung island (Pari Islands, Seribu Islands) and their variations in abundance Marine Research in Indonesia 17 147-172 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Allen, GR and Mohammed, A (2003) Coral Reef Fishes of Indonesia Zoological Studies 42(1) 26299 Available at - Digital Information Resource Center, Pune.
  • Tun, MT (2001) Marine fishes of Myanmar (pelagic and demersal) U Than Tun, Director-General, Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Myanmar 276 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) 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
  • Marine Biological Station, Chennai, Tamil Nadu (2003) Checklist of marine fauna of Tamil Nadu Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu 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
  • Murty, VS (1996) Marine ornamental fishes of India Proceedings of the Seminar on Fisheries - A Multibillion Dollar Industry, Madras CMFRI 23-34 Available at -
  • 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 (1969) Catalogue of fishes (excluding from the Laccadives) in the reference collections of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 10 1-38 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:2011-12-02

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