Animal Species:Sombre Sweetlips, Plectorhinchus schotaf (Forsskål, 1775)

The Sombre Sweetlips is grey, silver or brownish above and silver to pale grey below. The species is known in the tropical Indo-west Pacific.

Standard Common Name

Sombre Sweetlips

Alternative Name/s

Arabian Sweetlips, Grey Sweetlips, Minstrel Sweetlips, Somber Blubber-lips

Identification

The Sombre Sweetlips is grey, silver or brownish above and silver to pale grey below. The opercular membrane is red to orangish. The mouth, tongue and pectoral fin bases are red.

Size range

The Sombre Sweetlips grows to about 90 cm in length but is more commonly seen at lengths up to 40 cm.

Similar Species

The species looks similar to the Brown Sweetlips but can be distinguished by differences in the number of dorsal fin spines (12, rarely 13 in P. schotaf vs. 14, rarely 13) and dorsal fin rays (18–21 vs. 15–17).

Distribution

The species is known in the tropical Indo-west Pacific. In Australia it is known from off north-western Western Australia and from northern Queensland to northern New South Wales.

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

Plectorhinchus schotaf

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Sombre Sweetlips specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Habitat

The species occurs on coral and rocky reefs in coastal waters.

Classification

Species:
schotaf
Genus:
Plectorhinchus
Family:
Haemulidae
Order:
Perciformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Allen, G.R. & R. Swainston. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 201.
  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. McKay, R.J. 2001. Haemulidae . in Carpenter, K.E. & V.H. Niem (Eds). FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. Volume 5. Bony fishes part 3 (Menidae to Pomacentridae). FAO, Rome. Pp. iii-iv, 2791-3379.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags Fishes, Ichthyology, Sombre Sweetlips, Plectorhinchus schotaf, Haemulidae, grey, silver, brown, pale underside, tropical water, Arabian Sweetlips, Grey Sweetlips, Minstrel Sweetlips, Somber Blubber-lips, red mouth, red tongue, 30 cm - 1 m, coral reef, rocky reef, coastal water,