Parapercis maculata (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
Harlequin sandperch
Parapercis maculata
photo by Randall, J.E.

Family:  Pinguipedidae (Sandperches)
Max. size:  20 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; depth range 8 - 25 m
Distribution:  Western Indian Ocean.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 5-5; Dorsal soft rays (total): 21-21; Anal spines: 1-1; Anal soft rays: 17-17; Vertebrae: 30-30. This species is distinguished by the following characters: body color in life light brown dorsally, center of scales whitish, 6 irregular, semicircular brown blotches along back that link narrowly to large dark brown spots on about lower 2/3 of body, with the spots vertically elongate anteriorly, horizontally elongate and darker posteriorly; head orangish brown with small dark brown spots dorsally on snout and nape, 7 narrow bluish white bars (3 on opercle and preopercle, 4 radiating from ventral and anterior part of eye); dorsal and anal fins are translucent whitish, the spinous dorsal with a large black basal spot mainly between the 3rd and 5th spines; rows or round orange spots on soft dorsal fin; small irregular white spots on anal fin; dark brown about lower third of caudal fin with small whitish spots along rays, the rest of the fin light grey with small white and orange spots along rays; D V,21, all rays branched; A I,17 all rays branched; pectoral rays 16-17, branched except uppermost; 57-58 lateral line scales; gill rakers 4-6 + 8-10; lower jaw projecting, 3 pairs of canine teeth anteriorly in jaws; palatine teeth absent; vomerine teeth in a chevron-shaped patch of 3-4 rows; greatest body depth 5.05-6 in SL; head length (HL) 3.5-3.9 in SL; orbit diameter 3.6-4.4 in HL; preopercle's posterior margin with widely spaced, small, blunt serrae; opercle scales ctenoid, cheek scales weakly ctenoid dorsally, becoming cycloid, progressively smaller, nonimbricate ventrally; fourth dorsal spine is the longest, 3.1-3.8 in HL; caudal fin emarginate on dorsal half, often with protruding upper lobe, becoming rounded on ventral half; pectoral fins 5.1-5.4 in SL; pelvic fins just reaching anus (Ref. 79876).
Biology:  Coastal species found in shallow estuaries and protected coastal bays to depths of about 25 m (Ref. 48636). Inhabit sand bottoms solitarily (Ref. 90102). Minimum depth reported from Ref. 48636.
IUCN Red List Status: Not Evaluated (N.E.) Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   
 

Entered by: Garilao, Cristina V. - 21.02.98
Modified by: Reyes, Rodolfo B. - 15.07.13

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