Xyrichtys pentadactylus   (Linnaeus,  1758) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Randall, J.E.

Max. size: 25 cm.

Color: Greenish brown above, whitish below, with several prominent bright red spots outlined in pink on and below lateral line, and above pectoral fin base in large individuals; numerous flecks of red farther back on sides in very large individuals; head with several vertical blue bands, including one on dorsal midline extending from tip of upper jaw to dorsal fin origin; fins bluish to transparent with several reddish to orange horizontal stripes on spots on dorsal, anal and caudal fins.

Body moderately deep, maximum depth equal to or greater than length of head. Dorsal surface of head compressed into a knife-like edge, the profile with an extreme convex curve above lower eyes; snout very steep, almost vertical in adults, the tip forming an obtuse angle; jaws prominent, though mouth small; 2 prominent canines situated anteriorly in each jaw; no enlarged tooth at rear of upper jaw. Dorsal fin continuous, with a total of 9 spines and 12 soft rays; first 2 spines slightly longer and more flexible than remaining ones and connected to each other and to the rest of fin by a membrane; first spine inserted above eye; a deep notch in membrane between second and third spines; anal fin with 3 spines and 12 (rarely 13) soft rays; pectoral fins with 2 unbranched and 10 branched rays; pelvic fins filamentaous in large individuals; caudal fin rounded. Lateral line interrupted below posterior portion of dorsal fin, with a total of 25 or 26 pored scales. Scales not reaching onto bases of dorsal and anal fins; no scales on front of dorsal fin, scales present in a vertical row on upper portion of opercle and in several rows on cheek below eye, reaching downward to behind corner of mouth; lower jaw without scales.

Protogynous, external fertilization, nonguarders, pelagic spawner.

Synonym (s)
Hemipteronctus pentadactylus Linnaeus, 1758

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

Habitat:  Reef Associated
Prey:  Hard-shelled prey, including mollusks and crustaceans


• Tamil Nadu, Chennai Coast INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Nicobar Islands INDIA (Record: 08/2000-07/2003)
• Andhra Pradesh, Off Visakhapatnam (Lat: 17.73) (Long: 83.55) INDIA (Record: 04/1989-03/1990) (Depth: 50 mts)

Literature Source(s)
  • Venkatraman, K; Srinivasan, M; Satyanarayana, CH and Prabhakar D (2002) Faunal diversity of Gulf of Mannar biosphere reserve Conservation area series 15 ZSI 77 pp; VIII pla Available at - NCL, Pune
  • 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
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at - http://www.marinespecies.org
  • Marine Biological Station, Chennai, Tamil Nadu (2003) Checklist of marine fauna of Tamil Nadu Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Available at - http://tnenvis.nic.in
  • 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 - http://tnenvis.nic.in/PDF/coastal%20data.pdf
  • Encyclopedia of Life Available at - http://www.eol.org/
  • 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
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at - http://www.fishbase.org
  • Rajaram, R; Srinivasan, M; Khan, SA and Kannan, L (2004) Ichthyofaunal diversity of great Nicobar Island, Bay of Bengal Journal of Indian fisheries association 31 13-26 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • 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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