Thousand-spot Grubfish, Parapercis millepunctata (Günther 1860)

Other Names: Black Dotted Sand Perch, Black-dotted Sandperch, Spotted Sandperch

A Thousand-spot Grubfish, Parapercis millepunctata, in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Source: Graham Edgar / Reef Life Survey. License: CC BY Attribution

A grubfish with a complex pattern of light and dark blotches on the back, whitish below with a double row of large tan or brown to blackish spots or blotches, upper row rounded, lower row blackish and vertically elongate, a conspicuous white blotch or streak on the middle of  the tail, and tan to brown spots or blotches on the snout and top of head.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Parapercis millepunctata in Fishes of Australia, accessed 18 Jul 2024,

Thousand-spot Grubfish, Parapercis millepunctata (Günther 1860)

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Off Carnarvon northwards including offshore reefs of Western Australia, Cartier Island, Timor Sea, and the far northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, and reefs in the Coral Sea, to the Solitary Islands, New South Wales (absent from the Northern Territory); also Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, east-Indo-West Pacific.
Inhabits seawards reef, usually on sandy-rubble areas.


Dorsal fin V, 20-21; Anal fin I, 17-18; Pectoral fin 17; lateral-line scales 55-58; Predorsal scales ~10.


Dorsal surface with a blotched pattern, a close-set series of brown to orange blotches on top of the head behind eyes, and caudal fin with a white blotch. No row of small blackish spots in outer third of anal fin. Males with an ocellated black spot above opercle next to upper end of gill opening, female with a smaller dark brown spot.

Species Citation

Percis millepunctata Günther 1860, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus. 2: 241. Type locality: Ceylon.


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Thousand-spot Grubfish, Parapercis millepunctata (Günther 1860)


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

Cantwell, G.E. 1964. A revision of the genus Parapercis, family Mugiloididae. Pacific Science 18(3): 239-280.

Choat, J.H., van Herwerden, L., Robbins, W.D., Hobbs, J.P. & Ayling, A.M. 2006. A report on the ecological surveys undertaken at Middleton and Elizabeth Reefs, February 2006. Report by James Cook University to the Department of the Environment and Heritage. 65 pp.

Günther, A. 1860. Catalogue of the Fishes in the British Museum. Catalogue of the acanthopterygian fishes in the collection of the British Museum. Squamipinnes, Cirrhitidae, Triglidae, Trachinidae, Sciaenidae, Polynemidae, Sphyraenidae, Trichiuridae, Scombridae, Carangidae, Xiphiidae. London : British Museum Vol. 2 548 pp.

Ho, H.-C. & Shao, K.-T. 2010. Parapercis randalli, a new sandperch (Pisces: Pinguipedidae) from Southern Taiwan. Zootaxa 2690: 59-67.

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3)

Kuiter, R.H. 1992. Tropical reef-fishes of the western Pacific Indonesia and adjacent waters. Gramedia Pustaka Utama, Jakarta. 314 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp.

Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian reef fishes: a comprehensive guide to the coral reef fishes of Micronesia, ed. 3. Coral Graphics, Barrigada, Guam. 330 pp.

Randall, J.E. 2001. Pinguipedidae. pp. 3501-3510 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218.

Randall, J.E. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific. New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press 707 pp.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs.

Stroud, G.J. 1982. The taxonomy and biology of the genus Parapercis (Teleostei : Mugiloididae) in Great Barrier Reef waters. Unpublished PhD thesis, James Cook University, Townsville.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37390015


Depth:4-30 m

Habitat:Reef associated, sand/rubble areas

Max Size:18 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map