Animal Species:Redlip Morwong, Cheilodactylus rubrolabiatus Allen & Heemstra, 1976

The Redlip Morwong is commonly seen on shallow rocky reefs off the western Western Australian coastline and less frequently along the southern coastline.

Standard Common Name

Redlip Morwong

Alternative Name/s

Red Lip Morwong, Redlipped Morwong

Identification

The species has a pale tan body, with seven brown bars. The pale interspaces are speckled with brown spots and blotches. The fins are also pale with brown spots. The lips are bright red, giving the fish its scientific name rubro meaning red and labiatus referring to the lips.

Size range

The Redlip Morwong grows to a length of 40 cm

Distribution

The species is endemic to Western Australia and can be found from the Recherche Archipelago in the south to Coral bay in the north.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Cheilodactylus rubrolabiatus

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Redlip Morwong specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?

Life cycle

Like all Cheilodactylids, the Redlip Morwong transforms from its larval stage to what is known as the 'paperfish' stage. During this stage the fish lives a pelagic existence, as opposed to its later demersal life. The body is highly compressed and usually silvery in colour. After the fish settles (finds a suitable home on the reef), the body shape changes to the adult form.

Classification

Species:
rubrolabiatus
Genus:
Cheilodactylus
Family:
Cheilodactylidae
Order:
Perciformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Allen, G. 1976. Cheilodactylus rubrolabiatus, a new species of Morwong (Pisces: Cheilodactylidae) from Wetsern Australia, with a key to the Cheilodactylid Fishes of Australia. Rec. West. Aust. Mus, 4(4).
  2. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  3. Hutchins, B. & M. Thompson. 1983. The Marine and Estuarine Fishes of South-western Australia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 103.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Sascha Schulz
Last Updated:

Tags fish, ichthyology, Redlip Morwong, Cheilodactylus rubrolabiatus, Cheilodactylidae, Perciformes, endemic, brown, white, red, 'normal fish', 30 cm - 1 m, stripes or bands, coral reef, marine, adult,