Meganthias natalensis (Fowler, 1925)
Meganthias natalensis (Fowler, 1925)
Genus: , ,

Scientific Name: Meganthias natalensis

English Name: Gorgeous swallowtail

Creole Name:

French Name:

IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)


Dorsal spines: 10; Dorsal rays: 17-19; Anal spines: 3; Anal rays: 8–9.

Full bodied fish with deeply forked tail and long tapering caudal fin lobes. Broad head with steep anterior profile. Lower jaw projects when mouth open. Posterior of maxilla 
meets vertical from middle of eye. Minute teeth on vomer and palatines. Vomerine tooth patch chervron shaped. Juveniles with a small patch of teeth on tongue which is absent 
in adults. Dorsal profile strongly convex, ventral profile nearly straight. First few dorsal rays extended into filament. Pectoral fin long, broad and paddle like. Caudal 
Peduncle moderately long.

Colour. Head and body bright reddish pink dorsolaterally lightening ventrally to pale pink or off-white. Iris yellow. Band of yellow around mouth reaching to edge of orbit 
and forming narrower band below mouth.  Yellow band originating at top of preopercle broadening across upper flank and narrowing again below soft dorsal fin to origin of 
peduncle.  Anal fin yellow, first elongated rays of soft dorsal fin yellow. Pelvic fin yellow, Pectoral fin pale yellow. Caudal lobes yellow.


Maturity: Lm unknown. Range unknown. Max Length: 40 cm SL

Habitat and Ecology:

Marine benthopelagic species (depth 88-183 m). Piscivore. Data poor species with very limited information on its life history and ecology.

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It is caught in the deep water hook and line fisheries, but is a rare component of the catch.


 Photo courtesy and (c) 2020 Frank Volcere.


Carpenter, K.E. et al. (2018). Meganthias natalensis. The IUCN Red List 2018: (05/06/20).
Froese, R. & D. Pauly. (Eds.) (2020). FishBase. (05/06/20).
Smith, M. & Heemstra, P. (Eds.) (1999). Smiths’ Sea Fishes Edition 6. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 10.1007/978-3-642-82858-4


Nevill, J.E.G. & Volcere, F. (2020). Meganthias natalensis, Gorgeous swallowtail. Seychelles Seatizens. (edited 07/08/22)

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