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
Arabian Sweetlips, Grey Sweetlips, Minstrel Sweetlips, Somber Blubber-lips
The Sombre Sweetlips grows to about 90 cm in length but is more commonly seen at lengths up to 40 cm.
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).
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.
Distribution by collection data
The species occurs on coral and rocky reefs in coastal waters.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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,