Delicate Dragonet, Pseudocalliurichthys delicatulus (Smith 1963)

A Delicate Dragonet, Pseudocalliurichthys delicatulus, at Rinca Island, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, May 2014. Source: Mark Rosenstein / License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A well-camouflaged mottled sandy-coloured dragonet with small blue dots and dashes on the head, a yellowish snout, blackish spot on the first dorsal fin of females between the third and fourth spines. Males have a whitish first dorsal fin with small black spots, and the first two spines are filamentous.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Pseudocalliurichthys delicatulus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 22 Feb 2024,

Delicate Dragonet, Pseudocalliurichthys delicatulus (Smith 1963)

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Known from Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west Pacific. Inhabits shallow sandy areas adjacent to reefs.


Dorsal fin IV + 8; Anal fin 7; Pectoral fin 15-21.
Body depth 6.4-9.7 in SL; Head length 3.5-4.3 in SL; preopercular spine 2.0-2.9 in head length, spine with 8-15 spinules along dorsal margin and an antrorse spine at the base of the ventral margin. Males have filamentous first and second dorsal-fin spines, extending beyond last dorsal-fin ray when laid back; first dorsal fin of females about half height of second dorsal fin; caudal fin of male asymetrical with longer rays on lower half of fin. 


Feeds on benthic invertebrates.

Species Citation

Callionymus delicatulus Smith 1963, Ichthyological Bulletin, Department of Ichthyology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown 28: 557, fig. 6. Type locality: Connan Reef, Mahé, Seychelles. 


Bray, D.J. 2019


Australian Faunal Directory

Delicate Dragonet, Pseudocalliurichthys delicatulus (Smith 1963)


Allen, G.R. 1993. Fishes of Ashmore Reef and Cartier Island. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 44: 67-91 

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

Fricke, R. 1983. Revision of the Indo-Pacific genera and species of the dragonet family Callionymidae (Teleostei). Theses Zoologicae 3: 1-774 figs 1-212 

Fricke, R. 2000. Callionymidae of New Caledonia, with remarks on related species and descriptions of 10 new species from New Caledonia, Australia, New Guinea, and Hawaii (Teleostei). Stuttgarter Beiträge zur Naturkunde. Serie A (Biologie) 617: 1-81 figs 1-35 

Fricke, R. 2002. Annotated checklist of the dragonet families Callionymidae and Draconettidae (Teleostei: Callionymoidei), with comments on callionymid fish classification. Stuttgarter Beiträge zur Naturkunde. Serie A (Biologie) 645: 1-103 

Myers, R.F. 1989. Micronesian Reef Fishes. Guam : Coral Graphics 298 pp. 

Nakabo, T. 1982. Revision of genera of the dragonets (Pisces : Callionymidae). Publications of the Seto Marine Biological Laboratory 27(1/3): 77-131 figs 1-30 

Russell, B.C., Larson, H.K., Hutchins, J.B. & Allen, G.R. 2005. Reef fishes of the Sahul Shelf. The Beagle, Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory Supplement 1 2005: 83-105 

Smith, J.L.B. 1963. Fishes of the families Draconettidae and Callionymidae from the Red Sea and Western Indian Ocean. Ichthyological Bulletin, Department of Ichthyology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown 28: 547-564 figs 1-8 pls 83-86 Open access

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37427037

Depth:1-20 m

Habitat:Reef associated, sandy areas

Max Size:7 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map