Variola albimarginata Baissac, 1953
White-edged lyretail
photo by Randall, J.E.

Family:  Serranidae (Sea basses: groupers and fairy basslets), subfamily: Epinephelinae
Max. size:  65 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; depth range 4 - 200 m
Distribution:  Indo-Pacific: east coast of Africa (Zanzibar and Mafia Island, Tanzania) to Samoa, north to Ryukyu Islands, south to Queensland, Australia.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 9-9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 14-14; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 8-8. This species is distinguished by the following characters: body oblong, its depth 2.8-3.5 in SL; preopercle rounded, finely serrate, the lower edge fleshy; opercle with 3 flat spines; upper edge of operculum almost straight; rear nostrils not much bigger than anterior nostrils; front of jaws with a pair of large canine teeth; 1-3 large canines at midside of lower jaw; gill rakers of first gill arch 7-9 + 13-16 = 20-25 (including 4 to 7 rudiments on each limb); caudal fin lunate, the upper and lower lobes produced, about twice length of middle rays; pectoral-fin rays 17-19; lateral-line scales 66-76, in series 109-127. Colour of head, body and fins generally reddish with small irregular pale blue to pink spots; 3-4 diffuse pale saddle on back; broad caudal fin usually dusky, with narrow white posterior margin or edge (yellow in V. louti); juveniles similar in colour to adults, but with relatively fewer and larger pale blue or pink spots (Ref. 39231, 89707, 90102).
Biology:  A generally uncommon species that inhabits seaward reefs (Ref. 9710). Juveniles inshore on algae and soft coral reefs, usually swimming well above the substrate, looking much like a basslet (Ref. 48635). Solitary (Ref 90102) or found in small groups (Ref. 11888). Feeds on fishes. Of little interest to fisheries, because of its small size and rarity, but flesh is excellent. Caught with handline, traps, and spear (Ref. 39231).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 01 December 2017 Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 16.10.92
Modified by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 26.02.19
Checked by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 03.05.94

Source and more info: For personal, classroom, and other internal use only. Not for publication.

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