Lethrinus variegatus   Valenciennes,  1830 (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Randall, J.E.

Size: 25-34 cm.

Weight: 350 gm.

Color: Body is brown and gray, becoming lighter ventrally, with scattered irregular dark spots. Often there are two dark bands below the eye, one at the lower rim or the opercle and one at the corner of the mouth. The fins are generally light or translucent; the caudal fin is light and dark striped. In preserved specimens light brownish above, silvery below. In young specimens a brownish band from snout through eye. In older specimens the body has more or less distinct dark cross bands, which disappear in large specimens. Fins yellowish. Ventrals leaden-color.

Height 3.3-3.5, 3.9-4.2 in length with caudal. Head 2.8-3, 3-3.5 in length with caudal. Eye oblong, 3-3.8. Inter orbital space somewhat less than eye, nearly flat. Relative length of sides of triangle, formed by middle of pupil, angle of preoperculum and snout, in this sequence, 1:1.6-1.9:1.4. Mouth slightly oblique, jaws equal. Maxillary reaching to below posterior nostril. Lips rather thick. Canines small, somewhat curved. Lateral teeth conical, pointed. Five to six scales between origin of dorsal and lateral line. Dorsal spine slender, first one more than half of second, fourth longest, equal to distance between hind border of preoperculum and front border of eye, longer than soft dorsal rays. Origin of anal separated by 15 scales from lateral line, below last dorsal spine. Second anal spine thicker but not longer than third, as long as Eye and about as long as longest soft anal rays. Pectorals equal to eye and snout, ventrals shorter, as long as post orbital part of head. Caudal forked, its lobes pointed. Least height of caudal peduncle twice in its length. Dorsal spines (total): 10-10; dorsal soft rays (total): 9-9; anal spines: 3; anal soft rays: 8.

Protogynous, monandric species with external fertilization.

Age: 15 years

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Lethrinus borbonicus Wheeler, 1961
Lethrinus latifrons Ruppell, 1840
Lethrinus semicinctus Schultz, 1953
Lethrinella variegatus (Valenciennes, 1830)
(Senior synonym)
Lethrinus variegatus Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1830
Lethrinus latifrons Bleeker, 1851
Lethrinus latifrons Playfair, 1866
Lethrinus variegatus Klunzinger, 1884
Lethrinus variegatus Sauvage, 1891
Lethrinus variegatus Bleeker, 1877
Lethrinus variegatus Evermann and Seale, 1906
Lethrinus amboinensis M. Weber, 1913
Lethrinus variegatus Herre and Montalban, 1927
Lethrinus variegatus Fowler, 1933
Lethrinella variegata (Valenciennes, 1830)
(Senior synonym)
Lethrinus latifrons Ruppell, 1838
(Junior synonym)
Lethrinus miniatus (non Forster, 1801)
(Misapplied name)
Lethrinus semicinctus (non Valenciennes, 1830)
(Misapplied name)
Lethrinus variagatus Valenciennes, 1830

Common Name (s)
• Variegated Emperor (English)
• Slender Emperor (English)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Marketed fresh or frozen)

Habitat:  Reef Associated
Prey:  Crustaceans, molluscs, echinoderms and fish


• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andaman Islands INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Tuticorin INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • 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
  • Mahmoud, MU; Mekkawy, AAI and H. Ahemed, SA (2005) Scale characteristics of seven species of genus Lethrinus (family Lethrinidae) from the Red Sea, Egypt Egyptian Journal of Zoology 44 545-580
  • 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
  • Torao, S (1978) A synopsis of the Sparoid fish genus Lethrinus, with the description of a new species University of Tokyo Press 25569 Available at - CMFRI, Kochi
  • 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 - http://www.fishbase.org
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at - http://www.marinespecies.org
  • Weber, M; Beaufort, LF (1936) The fishes of the Indo-Australian Archipelago Print times, Pataudi house, Daryaganj, New Delhi 7 607 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Talwar, PK and Kacker, RK (1984) Commercial sea fishes of India ZSI, Calcutta 997 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 - http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/ad468e/ad468e00.HTM#Contents
  • 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 - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/571/1/Bulletin_10.pdf
  • Varghese, M; Manisseri, MK; Ramamurthy, N; Geetha, PM; Thomas, VJ and Gandhi, A (2011) Coral reef fishes of Gulf of Mannar, S.E of India Fishing Chimes CMFRI 31(1) 38-40 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • 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 - eprints.cmfri.org.in/3975/1/Special_Publication_No_12_Revised.pdf

Page last updated on:2011-12-01

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