Hemigymnus melapterus (Bloch, 1791)
Blackeye thicklip
Bankilan,  Blackeye thicklip,  Kukungalan,  Balaki,  Banog,  Bungat,  Danlugan,  Isdang bato,  Labayan,  Lampalampa,  Lubay-lubay,  Lupet,  Maming,  Maringyan,  Molmol,  Pilo-pilo,  Pirat-pirat,  Tamago,  Tausay,  Verde verde
Hemigymnus melapterus
photo by Randall, J.E.

Family:  Labridae (Wrasses), subfamily: Corinae
Max. size:  37 cm SL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; depth range 1 - 30 m
Distribution:  Indo-Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa to Micronesia, Samoa (Ref. 2334), and Polynesia (Ref. 9823).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 9-9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 10-11; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 11-11. This species is distinguished by the following characters: gill rakers 26-29; small juveniles dark brown, green on snout and interorbital, with a slightly oblique white bar from front of dorsal fin to abdomen, and 2 narrow pale yellowish bars below soft portion of dorsal fin that fade ventrally; larger juveniles have a white bar from origin of dorsal fin, passing beneath pectoral fin onto abdomen; head and body anterior to bar greyish green, posterior to bar black; posterior caudal peduncle and caudal fin yellow, often with 1 or 2 small black spots centrally near base: small females with body posterior to a curving demarcation between origins of dorsal and anal fins blackish with a narrow dark greenish bar on each scale, grading to yellow with blue-green spots posteriorly on caudal peduncle and fin; large females dark green posterior to oblique demarcation on body, the scales rimmed in black, with a vertical green line or spot on each scale; head and anterior body light green dorsally, pale blue-green ventrally, have irregular bands on snout and above eye, and a large complex marking behind eye; body of males posterior to demarcation dark green, each scale with narrow pale blue-green and black posterior margin; head green dorsally with irregular green to blue-green bands, including a blue ring around eye; cheek and operculum pinkish white with irregular light blue lines and spots, except for a large yellowish green blotch centrally on cheek without markings; lips and ventral part of head mainly pale blue; chest and abdomen pinkish white with a light blue spot or arc on scales (Ref. 93095).
Biology:  Found in subtidal reef flats and lagoon and seaward reefs. Juveniles occur inshore, found among branching corals while adults found in areas of mixed sand, rubble, and coral (Ref. 9710). Large adults in deeper water (Ref. 48636). Maximum length beyond 45 cm TL is unlikely, with largest measured individual at 37 cm TL (Ref, Feeds mainly on small invertebrates, especially crustaceans, polychaete worms, mollusks and brittle stars (Ref. 9823). Diet changing from primarily demersal planktonic crustaceans to hard-shelled invertebrates with growth (Ref. 37816).
IUCN Red List Status: (Ref. 115185)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:  Known from Sorsogon City (Ref. 58652), Lanuza Bay (Ref. 104756), Calatagan, Batangas (Ref. 107852), Nasugbu (Ref. 107853), TaƱon Strait (Ref. 107276), Bongo Island and Paril-Sangay Protected Seascape, Moro Gulf, Davao Gulf, Sarangani Bay and Malalag Bay (Ref. 106380), Verde Island (Ref. 107855), and Bantayan Is. in northern Cebu (Ref. 114734). Also Ref. 1602, 48613, 59110. In range Ref. 9823.

Entered by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 10.06.92
Modified by: Casal, Christine Marie V. - 08.06.17
Checked by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 09.05.95

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