Iniistius pentadactylus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Iniistius pentadactylus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Genus: , ,

Scientific Name: Iniistius pentadactylus

English Name: Fivefinger wrasse

Creole Name: Penis

French Name: Rason ocellé

IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)


Dorsal spines: 9; Dorsal rays: 12; Anal spines: 3; Anal rays: 12–13.

Highly compressed body and a steep head profile, approaching the vertical, forehead with a firm knife-like anterior edge. A pair of long curved canine teeth anteriorly in 
jaws, followed by a row of strong conical teeth and two or three inner rows of nodular teeth. First 2 dorsal spines and membranes slightly longer than rest of fin. A deep 
notch in membrane separates second and third spines. Caudal fin small rounded.

Colour. Females pale, with a large dusky spot on upper side between lateral line and tip of pectoral fin; most scales of body with a red orange dot; often a concentration of 
orange red markings on scale edges forming a large patch below the end of the pectoral fin.

Males with a less distinct blackish spot on upper side and a series of red spots (usually five or six), that appear black under water, nearly as large as eye behind eye and 
along anterior lateral line.


Maturity: Lm unknown. Range unknown. Max Length: 25cm TL.

Habitat and Ecology:

Inhabits open sandy areas, sandy slopes and areas with some seagrass and algae (depth 2-30m). It is usually in large spread-out groups on upper slopes of sand and mud banks. 
Males defend a territory containing numerous females. Pelagic spawner. Feeds mostly on hard-shelled prey such as crustaceans and molluscs.  When threatened, it dives 
head-first into sand. Sleeps under sand at night.

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It is not typically caught in the artisanal fishery. This specimen was caught in a mackerel net haul.


Bray, D.J. (2017). Iniistius pentadactylus in Fishes of Australia, (22/08/18).
Froese, R. & D. Pauly. (Eds.) (2018). FishBase. (22/08/18).
Russell, B. et al. (2010). Iniistius pentadactylus. The IUCN Red List 2010: (22/08/18)


Nevill, J.E.G. (2019). Iniistius pentadactylus, Fivefinger wrasse. Seychelles Seatizens. (edited 13/07/22)

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