Animal Species:Orangestriped Emperor, Lethrinus obsoletus (Forsskal, 1775)

The Orangestriped Emperor usually has a broad yellow stripe from the pectoral fin base to the caudal fin. It occurs in tropical marine waters of the Indo-West Pacific

Standard Common Name

Orangestriped Emperor

Alternative Name/s

Yellow Striped Emperor


The Orangestriped Emperor has a light tan to olive body. A broad yellow stripe extends from the pectoral fin base to the caudal fin. Sometimes adults exhibit a mottled brown colouration or have no markings.

Size range

The species grows to 60 cm in length. The maximum known age of a Orangestriped Emperor is 14 years.


It occurs in tropical marine waters of the Indo-West Pacific, from the Red Sea and the north-eastern coast of Africa, throughout South-east Asia and Micronesia, north to Japan, south to Australia and east to Tonga and Samoa.

In Australia it is known from off north-western Western Australia and the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland.

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

Lethrinus obsoletus

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Orangestriped Emperor specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?


Orangestriped Emperor inhabit seagrass beds, lagoons and reefs, and adjacent areas of sand and rubble. It is often seen in groups or as solitary individuals and may be seen sheltering in branching coral during the day.

It is found at depths from 3 m to 100 m.

Feeding and Diet

The species feeds primarily on molluscs, crustaceans and echinoderms.



What does this mean?


  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 220.
  2. Carpenter, K.E. & G.R. Allen, 1989. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 9. Emperor fishes and large-eye breams of the world (family Lethrinidae). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of lethrinid species known to date.. FAO Species Synopsis. No. 125(9): Pp. 118.
  3. 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.
  4. Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. Coral Graphics. Pp. 330.
  5. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 251.

Last Updated:

Tags olive body, broad yellow stripe, mottled brown, 30 cm - 1 m, Indo-West Pacific, north-eastern coast of Africa, South-east Asia, Great Barrier Reef, seagrass beds, molluscs,