Callionymus japonicus   Houttuyn,  1782 (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Gloerfelt-Tarp, T.

Size: 20-31 cm.

Color: Ground coloration dark brown, ventral parts of body light brown or white. Back with some darker saddles, sides of body with a row of black blotches. First dorsal fin with an ocellate black blotch on third membrane. Anal fin with a broad distal black streak. Second dorsal fin, caudal fin, pectoral and pelvic fins with brownish spots and blotches.

Height 9.7-10.7, 13.5-16 in length with caudal. Head, measured from branchial openings to tip of snout, 3.2-4.8, 4.5-7.5 in length with caudal. Breadth of head 1.05-1.1 in its length, measured as above. Eyes 3-3.1, somewhat less than snout, contiguous, the inter orbital space forming a somewhat elevated sharp bony ridge. A smooth area behind eyes, flanked at both sides by a more or less conical rugose bony protuberance, which also more or less extends to behind the smooth area. Mouth horizontal. Maxillary not quite reaching to below front border of eye. A few rows of pointed teeth in the jaws. Preopercular process slender, almost straight, with a slender spine anteriorly, tapering to a sharp point posteriorly and with about 7 or 8 barbs, pointing anteriorly, along its inner border. Branchial openings one eye diameter behind eyes, behind the bony protuberances mentioned above, their distance equal to that of the outer borders of the eyes. Lateral line beginning close and slightly before the inner border of the branchial opening. The lateral lines of both sides connected by a transverse canal, running along the hind border of the bony protuberances. The lateral lines are continued forwards along the outer sides of these protuberances, bifurcating here, one branch running outwards and downwards along opercle near posterior border of preopercle, and the other continued forwards and ending below posterior part of eye. In Japanese specimens the branch on opercle bifurcates again, but this is not the case in specimens from the Indo-Australian Archipelago. Posteriorly the lateral line are connected by two parallel branches, running over the back of the caudal peduncle. First and second dorsal spines close together, about as long as snout and eye, produced into filaments in males. First ray of second dorsal slightly less, last dorsal ray somewhat more, than first spine. The anterior branch of the last ray is bifurcated at tip, but the posterior branch (or 9th ray as counted by Bleeker) is simple. First anal ray equal to eye or somewhat longer, following rays increasing in length to the last, which equals the last dorsal ray. All anal rays simple. Pectorals as long as snout and eye. Ventrals longer, equal to post orbital part of head, measured to hind border of opercle. Caudal very long, pointed. Dorsal spines (total): 4; Dorsal soft rays (total): 9; Anal soft rays: 8

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Callionymus japonicus japonicus Houttuyn, 1782
(Senior Synonym)
Calliurichthys japonicus (Houttuyn, 1782)
(Senior Synonym)
Calliurichthys japonicus scaber (non McCulloch, 1926)
(Misapplied name)
Callionymus reevesii Richardson, 1844
Callionymus longicaudatus Schlegel, 1850
Callionymus reevesii Bleeker, 1853
Callionymus longecaudatus Gunther, 1861
Callionymus longicaudatus Day, 1876
Callionymus belcheri Bleeker, 1879
Callionymus longicaudatus Tirant, 1929
Calliurichthys japonicus Jordan and Fowler, 1903
Callionymus longicaudatus M. Weber, 1913
Callionymus calliurichthys McCulloch, 1926
Calliurichthys linea-thorax Fowler, 1943
Callionymus longicaudatus Blegvad, 1944

Common Name (s)
• Japanese Dragonet (English)
Economic Importance and Threats

Habitat:  Demersal
Trophic Level:  Tertiary Consumer
Prey:  Amphipods, polychaetes, bivalves, gastropods and ophiuroids


• Tamil Nadu, Chennai INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Kerala INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Off Visakhapatnam (Lat: 17.73) (Long: 83.55) INDIA (Record: 04/1989-03/1990) (Depth: 50 mts)

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
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Marine Biological Station, Chennai, Tamil Nadu (2003) Checklist of marine fauna of Tamil Nadu Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Available at -
  • Dr. Ramesh, R; Dr. Nammalwar, P and Dr. Gowri, VS (2008) Database on coastal information of Tamil Nadu Report Submitted to Environmental Information System (ENVIS) Centre, Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Institute for Ocean Management, Anna University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Available at -
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Beaufort, LF and Chapman, WM (1951) The fishes of the Indo-Australian Archipelago A. J. Reprints agency, Karol Bagh, New Delhi 9 484 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Dr. Kumaraguru, AK (2000) Studies on socioeconomics of Coral Reef resource users in the Gulf of Mannar coast, South India Centre for Marine and Coastal studies School of Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, India Available at -
  • Bijukumar, A and Deepthi, GR (2009) Mean trophic index of fish fauna associated with trawl bycatch of Kerala, southwest coast of India Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 51(2) 145 - 154 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 -
  • Sujatha, K (1995) Finfish constituents of trawl by-catch off Visakhapatnam Fishery Technology Society of Fisheries Technologists 32(1) 56-60 Available at - NIO, Goa

Page last updated on:2012-01-03

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