Paraplesiops meleagris

Western blue devil | Southern Blue Devil
Paraplesiops meleagris
Paraplesiops meleagris, Adelaide, SA, Photo: Graham Edgar
Paraplesiops meleagris
Paraplesiops meleagris, juvenile, Perth, WA, Photo: Ben Jones
Paraplesiops meleagris
Paraplesiops meleagris, Rottnest Island, WA, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Paraplesiops meleagris
Paraplesiops meleagris, adult, Port Phillip Bay, VIC, Photo: Antonia Cooper
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Paraplesiops meleagris
Paraplesiops meleagris
Paraplesiops meleagris
Paraplesiops meleagris


Temperate Australasia


Often confused with the Western Blue Devil, Paraplesiops sinclairi, due to the common name. This species is common in South Australia and southern Western Australia and is immediately recognisable by the iridescent blue spots densely packed over the body. P. sinclairi is restricted to a smaller part of south-western Australia, tends to have yellowish pectoral fins and less blue spotting over the face and body. It occurs commonly on offshore reefs. When observed underwater the species shows little fear of divers but retreats slowly into a refuge, generally either a ledge or a cave.


Max Size: 33 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 12.5-23.2°C

Depth: 5-40m

Habitat Generalization Index: 3.4

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: Common (27.2% 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: GJ Edgar. 2008. Australian Marine Life. New Holland, Sydney