Lethrinus variegatus  Valenciennes, 1830

Slender emperor
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Lethrinus variegatus
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Lethrinidae (Emperors or scavengers) > Lethrininae
Etymology: Lethrinus: Greek, lethrinia, a fish pertaining to genus Pagellus.   More on author: Valenciennes.

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; reef-associated; non-migratory; depth range 1 - 150 m (Ref. 4369).   Tropical; 32°N - 25°S, 33°E - 174°W

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Indo-West Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa to the Ryukyu Islands and New Caledonia. Recently reported from Tonga (Ref. 53797). Also reported from French Polynesian islands (Ref. 4795) but this is a misidentification of Lethrinus rubrioperculatus (Ref. 2295).

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 20.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2295); max. reported age: 15 years (Ref. 2290)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 10; Dorsal soft rays (total): 9; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 8. Body is brown and gray (usually green, Ref. 48635), becoming lighter ventrally, with scattered irregular dark spots. Often there are two dark bands below the eye, one at the lower rim or the opercle and one at the corner of the mouth. The fins are generally light or translucent; the caudal fin is light and dark striped.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Inhabits sandy and weedy areas near coral reefs, solitarily or in groups (Ref. 30573, 90102), where it is well camouflaged and usually swims in the cover of the substrate (Ref. 48635). Juveniles sometimes abundant in shallow, weedy areas (Ref. 4369). Solitary or in small groups (Ref. 90102). Feeds on small benthic invertebrates (Ref. 30573). A protogynous hermaphrodite (Ref. 55367). Flesh of large individuals is esteemed (Ref. 4369).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

A monandric species (Ref. 55367). Length at sex change = 29.1 cm TL (Ref. 55367). Also Ref. 103751.

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Carpenter, K.E. and 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 Fish. Synop. 125(9):118 p. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 2295)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)

CITES (Ref. 115941)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial
FAO(Publication : search) | FishSource | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 24.2 - 29, mean 27.9 (based on 1950 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.8   ±0.0 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.49; tmax=15).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low to moderate vulnerability (26 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Very high.