Lethrinus rubrioperculatus (Sato, 1978)
Lethrinus rubrioperculatus (Sato, 1978)
Genus: , ,

Scientific Name: Lethrinus rubrioperculatus

English Name: Spotcheek emperor

Creole Name: Baksou

French Name: Empereur honteux

IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)


Dorsal spines: 10; Dorsal rays: 9; Anal spines: 3; Anal rays: 8.

Body moderately elongate. Posterior nostril a longitudinal opening, closer to orbit than to anterior nostril. Cheek without scales.

Body olive grey or brown, with scattered irregular small dark blotches. Distinctive red spot on upper edge of operculum. Upper lip and corner of mouth red or red edged. 
Fins pale or pinkish. Red margin to dorsal fin rays. Caudal fin with redder margin.


Maturity: Lm unknown. Range 20 – 26 cm FL. Max Length: 50 cm TL. Commonly 30 cm TL.

Habitat and Ecology:

Inhabits sand and rubble areas of outer reef slopes (depth 10-198 m). Feeds mainly on crustaceans, fish, echinoderms and molluscs. Often found in large schools. A 
protogynous hermaphrodite.

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It is caught in the both the hand line and trap fishery, and is a regular and common component of the catch.


Internationally the Spotcheek emperor is considered a very good eating fish. In Seychelles however, it is somewhat looked down upon as being too bony and consequently often 
cooked up for the dogs. Perhaps a matter of being spoilt for choice for excellent eating fish in Seychelles.


Carpenter, K.E. & Allen, G.R. (1989). FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 9 Emperor Fishes and Large-eye Breams of the World (Family Lethrinidae). An annotated and Illustrated 
Catalogue of Lethrinid Species Known to Date. UNFAO Rome. ISBN 92-5-102889-3
Carpenter, K.E. et al. (2016). Lethrinus rubrioperculatus. The IUCN Red List 2016: http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T16720528A16722355.en. (12/05/19).
Froese, R. & D. Pauly. (Eds.) (2019). FishBase. https://www.fishbase.se/summary/1848 (12/05/19).


Nevill, J.E.G. (2019). Lethrinus rubrioperculatus, Spotcheek emperor. Seychelles Seatizens. www.seatizens.sc. https://seatizens.sc/species/lethrinus-rubrioperculatus-sato-1978/ (edited 17/07/22)

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