Bennett's Fairy Basslet, Tosanoides bennetti Allen & Walsh 2019

A male Bennett's Basslet, Tosanoides bennetti, from Holmes Reef in the Coral Sea off Cairns, Queensland. Source: Fenton Walsh / Cairns Marine. License: All rights reserved

Males are lavender pink with four diagonal yellow bands on the head and body, those in the middle breaking up into a series of large irregular spots ending in a large spot on the lower caudal-fin lobe, a broad yellow stripe along the middle of the dorsal fin, and broad yellow outer parts on the anal and pelvic fins. They also have filamentous caudal-fin lobes.
Females are mostly lavender pink becoming yellow on the rear of the body, caudal peduncle and most of the caudal fin. The species has a yellow bar across the anal-fin spines, yellow pelvic fins with a pink leading edge, and a yellowish-brown blotch on the front of the dorsal fin.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Tosanoides bennetti in Fishes of Australia, accessed 27 Feb 2024,

Bennett's Fairy Basslet, Tosanoides bennetti Allen & Walsh 2019

More Info


Holmes Reefs, Coral Sea, ~220 km east of Cairns, Queensland. Inhabits mesophotic reefs. The type specimens were collected on a rocky bottom comprised of consolidated coralline sediments with a thin layer of silt and numerous fissures, crevices and small terraces at a depth of 141-150 m.


Dorsal fin X,17; Anal fin III,8; Pectoral fin 12-14; Lateral line (pored scales) 29-33, either in continuous series or separated by gap of 1-3 transverse scale rows; Gill rakers on the first branchial arch 7-10 + 23-26.
Body depth 2.7-2.8 in SL; scales covering basal half of soft dorsal and anal fins.


Maximum known size to about 5 cm SL.


Male when freshly collected mainly lavender pink with four downward-slanting, yellow bands on head and body, middle two forming series of large irregularly-shaped spots; dorsal fin mainly yellow with narrow lavender outer margin and lavender basal portion, curling around posterior-most part of fin to join lavender outer margin; anal fin yellow except basal one-third and posterior-most rays lavender; caudal fin lavender with large yellow spot covering most of central portion of lower lobe.


The species is named bennetti in honour of marine aquarium fish collector Timothy Bennett, who captured the holotype.

Species Citation

Tosanoides bennetti Allen & Walsh 2019, aqua International Journal of Ichthyology 25(1):  Type locality: northwestern section of western part of Holmes Reefs, 16°31.3’S, 147°49.0’E, Coral Sea, Australia, 150 m.


Bray, D.J. 2019

Bennett's Fairy Basslet, Tosanoides bennetti Allen & Walsh 2019


Allen, G.R. & Walsh, F. 2019. Tosanoides bennetti, a new species of anthiadiine fish (Pisces: Serranidae) from the Coral Sea, Australia. aqua International Journal of Ichthyology 25(1): 25-34 See ref online

Quick Facts


Depth:141-150 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:5 cm SL


Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map