Pempheris vanicolensis   Cuvier,  1831 (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Randall, J.E.

Size: 18- 20 cm.

Color: Usually with greenish shine over the back and most of the head. Anal fin with distinctly black margin, black dorsal fin tip, and pectoral fins yellow without black basal spot.

Adults occur in large groups that stay in caves and in the shadows of coral overhangs during daytime. At night, they forage on planktonic organisms in open waters, returning to their caverns in the reefs shortly before sunrise. Post-larval fish form age-related groups of juvenile forms which, although occurring together with other groups in the same habitat, preserve their bond during the day, even following night migrations to different habitats. Rostro-dorsal profile slightly convex, height 2.2-2.4 in length, 2.6-2.8 in length with caudal, head only slightly higher than long or equal to its length, 3.3-3.8 in length, 4-4.6 in length with caudal. Eye 2.1-2.5 in head, inter orbital space 1.3-1.7 in eye. Upper jaw 1.7 in head, reaching behind anterior border of pupil. Distance of dorsal from tip of snout conspicuously less than height of body. Height of dorsal less than length of head and nearly equals length of pectorals, which is about twice length of spine of ventral. Teeth in jaws small, forming a rather narrow setiform band of nearly equal teeth, the outer series of the inter maxillary ones stronger than the others. Dorsal spines (total): 6 - 6, Dorsal soft rays (total): 9 - 9, Anal spines: 3, Anal soft rays: 31-43.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportion.

Synonym (s)
Pempheris moluca Bleeker, 1850
Pempheris moluca Ruppell, 1852
Pempheris mangula Kner, 1867
Pempheris vanicolensis Bleeker, 1877
Pempheris vanicolensis Jordan and Seale, 1906
Pempheris vanicolensis Evermann and Seale, 1907
Pempheris vanicolensis M. Weber, 1913
Pempheris vanicolensis Ogilby, 1913
Pempheris vanicolensis Fowler, 1931
Pempheris vanicolensis Herre, 1934

Common Name (s)
• Vanikoro Sweeper (English)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial

Habitat:  Reef Associated, Rocky, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Zoobenthos, benthic crustaceans, ostracods, juv./adults nekton, finfish bony fish, worms polychaetes


• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andaman Islands INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Port Blair INDIA
• Kerala INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Mandapam 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
  • Tikader, BK and Das, AK (1985) Glimpses of animal life of Andaman and Nicobar Islands ZSI, Kolkata 1-170 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Lakshmi, BB (2001) Rhabdochona indiana n. sp. (Nematoda: Rhabdochonidae) from the intestine of Pempheris vanicolensis Boletin chileno de parasitologia 57(3-4) Available at -
  • 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 -
  • Rouphael, T; Turak, E and Jon, B Seagrasses and mangroves of Yemen's Red Sea 41-89
  • 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
  • Chabanet, P and Patrick, D (2005) Reef Fish Inventory of Juan De Novas Natural Park (Western Indian Ocean) Western Indian Ocean Journal Marine Sciences 2005 WIOMSA 4 145-162
  • Allen, GR and Mohammed, A (2003) Coral Reef Fishes of Indonesia Zoological Studies 42(1) 26299 Available at - Digital Information Resource Center, Pune.
  • Garpe, KC and Ohman, MC (2003) Coral and fish distribution patterns in Mafia Island marine park Tanzania fish habitat interactions Hydrobiologia Kluwer Academic Publishers 498 191-211 Available at - NIO, RC Kochi
  • Wall, F (1910) A popular treatise on the common Indian snakes Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society BNHS Part XIII with 65-79
  • 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 -
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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:2011-12-01

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