Variola louti (Forsskål, 1775)
Yellow-edged lyretail
Lapu lapung señora,  Yellow-edged lyretail,  Baghak,  Banahan,  Coronation trout,  Inid,  Kulapo sunoh,  Kurapu,  Lapu-lapu,  Lapu-lapung senyora,  Lapu-lapung senyorita,  Lawihan,  Mantis,  Pugapo,  Pugapong gamay,  Rana,  Sibungin may lawi,  Valenten
Variola louti
photo by Moldzio, S.

Family:  Serranidae (Sea basses: groupers and fairy basslets), subfamily: Epinephelinae
Max. size:  83 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 12 kg
Environment:  reef-associated; depth range 3 - 300 m, non-migratory
Distribution:  Indo-Pacific: Red Sea to South Africa and the Pitcairn Islands, north to southern Japan, south to New South Wales, Australia. Not found in the Persian Gulf nor in Hawaii.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 9-9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 13-14; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 8-8. This species is distinguished by the following characters: body oblong, its depth less than head length and 2.8-3.3 in SL; preopercle rounded, finely serrate, the lower edge fleshy; opercle with 3 flat spines; upper edge of operculum almost straight; 1-3 large canines at midside of lower jaw; gill rakers of first gill arch 7-10 + 15-18 (including 6-87 rudiments on each limb); D IX,13-14; caudal fin lunate, the upper and lower lobes produced, about twice length of middle rays; pectoral-fin rays 16-19; lateral-line scales 66-77; lateral scale series 113-135. Colour of head, body, and median fins yellowish brown to orange-red (specimens from deep water more reddish) with numerous small round or elongate spots of blue, lavender or pink; rear margin of median fins broadly yellow; pectoral-fin rays red to brown, the distal third abruptly yellow[ large juveniles (10-25 cm SL) with irregular black band along dorsal part of body ending below rear of dorsal fin and continuing on head (up to eye) as 3 irregular black spots; black blotch at base of upper caudal-fin rays; head and body (including black band) with small pale blue to pink spots; a pale yellow or white stripe mid-dorsally on head from tip of lower jaw to dorsal-fin origin; small juveniles (< 7 cm SL) lack the black band and black spots on dorsal part of head and body (Ref. 39231, 89707, 90102).
Biology:  Usually seen in clear-water areas at depths below 15 m, and prefers islands and offshore reefs rather than continental shores. Feeds mainly on fishes, and on crabs, shrimps and stomatopods. It is highly appreciated for the quality of its flesh. It may not be sold in Mauritius because of cases of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 11888). In the Hong Kong live fish markets (Ref. 27253). This common and important food fish is caught with handlines, spear, and traps (Ref. 39231).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 22 November 2016 Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  reports of ciguatera poisoning
Country info:  Known from Cebu City (Ref. 58652), Balabac, southern Palawan (Ref. 104484), Paril-Sangay Protected Seascape, Moro Gulf (Ref. 106380). Reported to cause ciguatera (Ref. 393). Also Ref. 1602, 5222.

Entered by: Binohlan, Crispina B. - 30.03.92
Modified by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 26.02.19
Checked by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 03.05.94

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


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