Citron Perchlet, Plectranthias megalophthalmus Fourmanoir & Randall 1979

A preserved specimen of the Citron Perchlet, Plectranthias megalophthalmus, CSIRO H 643-4, 53.2 mm SL, from the Marion Plateau in the Coral Sea, NE of the Whitsunday Islands, Queensland. Source: A.C. Gill, Fig. 36, in Gill et al. (2021) Zootaxa 4918(1): 1-116. License: All rights reserved

A rare slender perchlet with a very large eye, a smooth preopercular margin, and small canine teeth.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Plectranthias megalophthalmus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 30 Nov 2023,

Citron Perchlet, Plectranthias megalophthalmus Fourmanoir & Randall 1979

More Info


Marion Plateau, Coral Sea, northeast of the Whitsunday Islands, Queensland. Elsewhere the species occurs in New Caledonia.
Inhabits deep mesophotic reefs.


Australian material: Dorsal fin X,15, all segmented rays branched; Anal fin III,7, all segmented rays branched; Pectoral fin 15, all but upper 1-2 rays branched; Pelvic fin I,5, all segmented rays branched; Caudal fin principal rays 9+8, upper procurrent rays 6, lower procurrent rays 6, total rays 29; Gill rakers 6+12, upper 4 and lower 3 rudiments; Pseudobranchial filaments 12; Branchiostegal rays 7; Vertebrae 10+16. 
Opercle with 3 flat spines, middle spine longest, upper spine concealed by scales; preopercle, interopercle and subopercle smooth. Fleshy tabs present on distal tips of at least some dorsal spines. 
Lateral line complete with 32-33 tubed scales; Scales above lateral line to origin of dorsal fin 2-3; Scales above lateral line to base of fifth dorsal spine 2; Scales below lateral line to origin of anal fin 13; Diagonal scale rows on cheek 6; Predorsal scales 22, extending to posterior nostrils; Circumpeduncular scales 12.


In preservative: head and body pale tan; upper body with four indistinct dusky blotches, first below dorsal spines 3 through 5, second below dorsal spines 8 and 9, third beneath segmented dorsal rays 4 through 6, and fourth beneath segmented dorsal rays 11 through 13; sides of body 1–2 scale rows beneath lateral line with three indistinct dusky blotches, first two beneath first two blotches on upper body, third slightly posterior to third spot on upper body; fins pale without markings.Colour in life unknown.

Similar Species

Differs from congeners in the following combination of characters: Dorsal rays X,15; pectoral rays 15, all but the uppermost 1–2 rays branched; edge of preopercle smooth; lateral-line complete with 31–33 tubed scales; scales below lateral line to origin of anal fin 12–13.


The specific name megalophthalmus is from the Greek mégas (= great, large, mighty) and opthalmus (= eyes), in reference to the large eye of this species.

Species Citation

Plectranthias megalophthalmus Fourmanoir & Randall 1979, Micronesica 15(1–2): 316, fig. 1. Type locality: Isle of Pines, New Caledonia.


Bray, D.J. 2021


Atlas of Living Australia

Citron Perchlet, Plectranthias megalophthalmus Fourmanoir & Randall 1979


Fourmanoir, P. & Randall, J.E. 1979. Three new species of serranid fishes of the genus Plectranthias from New Caledonia. Micronesica 15(1–2): 315-324 figs 1-3 

Gill, A.C., Pogonoski, J.J., Moore, G.I. & Johnson, J.W. 2021. Review of Australian species of Plectranthias Bleeker and Selenanthias Tanaka (Teleostei: Serranidae: Anthiadinae), with descriptions of four new species. Zootaxa 4918(1): 1-116.

Last, P.R., Pogonoski, J.P., Gledhill, D.C., White, W.T. & Walker, C.J. 2014. The deepwater demersal ichthyofauna of the western Coral Sea. Zootaxa 3887: 191-224.

Randall, J.E. 1980. Revision of the fish genus Plectranthias (Serranidae: Anthiinae) with description of 13 new species. Micronesia 16(1): 101-187. See ref online

Randall, J.E. 1996. Two new anthiine fishes of the genus Plectranthias (Perciformes: Serranidae), with a key to the species. Micronesica 29(2): 113-131 See ref online

Randall, J.E. & Hoese, D.F. 1995. Three new species of Australian fishes of the genus Plectranthias (Perciformes: Serranidae: Anthiinae). Records of the Australian Museum 47(3): 327-335,

Williams, J.T., Lawrence, A. & Myers, R. 2016. Plectranthias megalophthalmus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T69588900A69592452. Downloaded on 19 March 2019.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37311108

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:300-360 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:6 cm SL

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