Painted Sweetlips, Diagramma pictum Click to enlarge image
A Painted Sweetlips at a depth of 22 m, Maewo Island, Asanvari Bay, Vanuatu, July 2003. Image: Erik Schlögl
© Erik Schlögl

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    pictum
    Genus
    Diagramma
    Family
    Haemulidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to about 1 m in length, but is common to 45 cm.

Introduction

Adult Painted Sweetlips in Australian waters are slate grey coloured. The species occurs in the tropical Indo-West and Central Pacific.



Identification

Johnson et al's 2001 review of the genus Diagramma recognised five subspecies of D. pictum. Adult fish occurring in Australian waters (D. pictum labiosum) are slate grey in colouration (see image above). Adults and subadults never have yellow or orange spots and never have spots on the head forming lines.

Large yellow or orange spots are only found on other subspecies of D. pictum which occur in south-east Asia and elsewhere in the south-west Pacific (see lower image to the right and attached link for three images of D. pictum pictum from Vanuatu). These fish are blue-grey with yellow to orange spots on the head, body and fins. The spots on the head often form lines.

Habitat

It is found in coastal and sandy reef areas in depths to 80 m.

Distribution

The species occurs in tropical waters of the Indo-West and Central Pacific. In Australia it is known from the central coast of Western Australia, around the tropical north, and as far south on the east coast as the central coast of 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.



Feeding and diet

The Painted Sweetlips feeds on bottom-dwelling invertebrates and small fishes.

References

  1. 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.
  2. Johnson, J.W., J.E. Randall and S.F. Chenoweth 2001 Diagramma melanacrumnew species of haemulid fish from Indonesia, Borneo and the Philippines with a generic review. Mem. Queensl. Mus. 46(2):657-676.
  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.