Lethrinus xanthochilus

Yellowlip Emperor | Klunzinger's Emperor | Red-spot Emperor
Lethrinus xanthochilus
Lethrinus xanthochilus, Maldives, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Lethrinus xanthochilus
Lethrinus xanthochilus, Raja Ampat, Indonesia, Photo: Graham Edgar
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Lethrinus xanthochilus
Lethrinus xanthochilus


Tropical Indo-Pacific


Elongate pale body, yellow upper lip, red or black spot at pectoral fin base, rather than on operculum above pectoral fin, as on L. amboinensis (Ambon Emperor). Can rapidly change to mottled brown colouration.


Max Size: 70 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 23.9-31.3°C

Depth: 4-150m

Habitat Generalization Index: N/A

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Not Evaluated

Occurrence: Infrequent (1.2% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Few (2 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.

Edit by: RD Stuart-Smith, GJ Edgar, AJ Green, IV Shaw. 2015. Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland